The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Amnesia, Kidnapping, Human Test Subjects and more


All of the characters in the book have lost their memories of what happened before they were sent to the maze, most likely from retrograde amnesia. Retrograde amnesia is when you can't remember the things that happened before you got the amnesia. If the person is ever able to regain their memory, they will remember older memories first, newer memories second, and the memories that happened around the time they received amnesia will never be recovered.

What causes Memory loss?

  • Memory loss is caused by...
  • Brain infections such as encephalitis which is the acute inflammation of the brain
  • Head trauma and concussions
  • Influenced by Vitamin B1 deficiency which is caused by undernourishment and alcoholism
  • Certain drugs that effect the memory portion of the brain like cocaine, PCP, LSD aminophylline, trycyclic antidepressants, barbiturates, methyldopa, bromide, isoniazid, diurectics and digoxin

Human Test Subjects

The people from the Glade are human test subjects, and have many trials to get out. Human test subjects are sometimes mislead from the test's actual use, like the people participating in the Tuskegee syphilis study. They were told that they would be treated for their disorder, when really the experiment was on the effects of untreated syphilis. The experiment lasted many years longer than expected. As for child test subjects, many people think that it is wrong to perform testing on children, but some scientists think that as long as it doesn't hurt the child, it is justified.


When Thomas got his memory back for a day or so, he remembered that they had all been taken when they were really young, which is kidnapping. Nearly 800,000 children younger than 18 are missing each year. That's over 2,000 a day. 58,000 of them were abducted by non-family members. There were only 115 cases of stereotypical kidnapping though. This is where the child is abducted by someone they don't know or barely know, they are held by the kidnapper overnight, then the next day sent over 50 miles away, the kidnapper then either kills the child, demands ransom, or intends to keep the child permanently. This is most likely what happened to the characters who ended up in the Glade.
By Cassidy Hanyzewski, Chris Pry, and Kayleigh Smith