The Maze Runner

James Dashner Biography

James Dashner on November 26, 1972 in Georgia. When he attended Brigham Young University, he started off studying accounting but he soon wanted to try and write stories. It took a few trial and errors but he soon was happy with his creation of a character named Jimmy Fincher and decided to expand that into a story called The Jimmy Fincher Saga. He was turned down by publishers but he soon found a publisher that liked his story and published it. That started his career in the writing business. His second published book was The Maze Runner; which also focused on a young boy in a perilous situation just like The Jimmy Finch books. He has also written The Kill Order series.

Plot Summary

  1. In the book, there is a place named The Glade where the Gladers have lived for about two years. They get sent to the Glade without any memories of their life they had before except for basic things like movies and books but not who their families are. They only remember their memories if they get stung by a Griever which is a monster that lives in the maze. The maze is blocked off by a huge wall with rock doors that open during the day and close during the night so that it traps in the grievers because the grievers come out of their hiding during the night and rarely in the day. Everyday runners run through the maze, trying to figure out if there is an exit on the other side of the maze but the thing is that the maze switches the path everyday. When the main character, Thomas, showed up to The Glade, everything started to change. There was always a new Glader sent there every month but two days after Thomas came, there was a girl sent up which sent commotion throughout the whole Glade. It turns out that Thomas and the new girl had a special connection and once the new girl came out of her coma, the sky turned gray and the walls blocking the grievers from the rest of the people, won’t close at nights anymore. Thomas and a few others come up with a plan that leads to escaping the whole maze.


The setting of the glade is a simple, organized structure, however when you go outside of the doors and into the maze it becomes complex. In the glade, where the gladers live, and most work, there are four doors, one on each wall. These doors open in the morning and close at night; protecting the gladers from the grievers. Everyday, the gladers have followed a strict schedule, partially based around the doors. The runners leave in the morning, when the doors open, to go observe the maze and discover different patterns. The runners must be back before the doors close at night, or else they are stuck inside the maze with the grievers where there is a small chance of surviving. These doors are made of stone walls that are very tall and slide across the ground, seeming impossible. The glade is a perfect square, several football fields wide and in length. The floor of the courtyard is made up of stone blocks. The courtyard floor is cracked; filled with weeds and grass. The homestead, a poorly, but sturdy built, wooden building made from scrap materials is located in the northwest corner of the glade. This is where some gladers sleep.


One of the themes in this novel is prosperity. Throughout the whole book, it creates this image in the readers head, that if you believe you can get through whatever is holding you down, you will eventually accomplish and prosper. In the American Dream, prosperity was a big deal because if no one believed in what they were trying to accomplish, then we wouldn’t be as successful in the world as we are now. Thomas was determined to get the gladers out of the Glade and return to the real world to figure out their lives before the maze. When he first arrived to the Glade, he saw the runners and without understanding why, he wanted to become a runner. He wanted to find a way out of the Glade just like everybody else, but he was different. He was only there for two days when he ran into the maze to help Alby and Minho, just before the doors were closing, and realized he would be stuck in the maze with them along with the grievers for the night. Thomas was determined to survive and keep Alby and Minho alive as well. With his determination he was able to survive a night in the maze, with the grievers, which had never been done before.

Works Sited