"The Maze Runner"

Maureen Muwonge-Mukasa Periods: 8-9 Theme Poster

Statement of the Theme

To sacrifice yourself to remain from the outside world, to get memories that are unrecognizable, and not easy to recall, or to try to figure out your identity and try to fit in just to feel satisfied with a world that is indescribable, is some things that a boy from a little section of a Maze called the Glades suffers with. Many boys from the Glades suffer through sacrifice, identity of themselves, and trying to remember why they are at the Maze. The boys try to find out if they have a family to help support them, or even what they did before they got to the Glades. The boys come from a Box that transports a boy to the Glades through a rope. A signal informs the Gladers that a "Newbie" has arrived. When protagonist Thomas, enters the Glades he is swarmed by confusion. Followed by that, he loses his fate, identity and one of his best friends from the Maze.

Citation One (Identity)

During The Maze Runner one of the things that not only Thomas faces but the other boys(and one girl) from the Glades (Newt, Teresa, Gally, Minho, Alby, Chuck) is the loss of their identity. Thomas and the others first come to the Glades as a "Newbie", to figure out where they are. They try to recall things from before they ever came to the Maze. They come confused, tired, angry, and lost knowing that they may never feel homely again after coming to the Maze. Thomas's best friends from the Glades,Chuck, was introducing Thomas to the Glades. Chuck explains where Thomas would sleep, eat and work, since the boys at the Glades had priorities from their leader, Alby. Jobs include builders (Gally), bricknicks, sloppers, baggers, cooks, runners (Minho) med jacks, slicers and many others. Thomas states to Chuck that being in the Maze feels almost like a prison and that they will stay in the Glades for eternity. "We lived inside a place that seems to have to way out, surrounded by bloodthirsty monster-guards. Doesn't that sound like a prison to you"(Dashner pg. 64)? Cleary, Thomas feels that the Maze is like a jailhouse, and that there is no time for entertainment or to simply relax.They boys at the Glades don't have an actual idea of how old they are or where they came from. They may guess as to how old they are. For example, Chuck described Thomas as a boy who is about 5'9, sixteen years old. Thomas and other boys from the Glades are not sure what they were sent here to do, let alone find out who they are. The boys at the Glades feel like they will never feel that they are satisfied with themselves, or that they have an idea of what they are like,'because every single aspect of what they knew about themselves was taken away from them.

Citation Two (Memory)

Another theme that was presented in the book The Maze Runner was memory. In the Glades, another problem that the boys from the Glades suffered was having memory loss. The boys from the Glades had their memories wiped from the Creators (people who designed the Maze). Since the Gladers got their memories wiped away and they don't have any remembrance of anything, they may not get the vital memories that define them as to who they are. The leader of the Glades, Alby, talks to Thomas about the Changing and how he felt and went through it since he went through the Changing. The Changing is when a boy get stung by a Griever(monstrous creatures). If lucky, the Gladers are rescued back to the Glades and have to get a serum from the doctors of the Glades.(med-jacks) The Changing can have serious, and dangerous effects as the Creators may control their bodies into doing something that is harmful. Alby shares his feelings and how it is going through the Changing. "I hope the Changing doesn't give is real memories--- just plants fake ones. Some suspect it--- I can only hope. If the world's the way I saw it..."(Dashner pg.197). Alby doesn't wish that the Changing doesn't give the Gladers real memories. Alby refuses to tell Thomas about what he saw in the Changing. Alby might of seen things that were unclear, dangerous, and terrifying. Alby explained to Thomas that he saw things that he did when he was younger that was substandard that made him feel sorrow and scared. Since Alby has been out of the Maze, and remembers what the unsavory things that he has done as a little boy, Alby doesn't want to remember the memories that the Creators "planted in his head" because of all of the horrible things that he has done. In a result of this, Alby didn't want to remember the memories from the Changing.

Citation Three (Sacrifice)

One other theme that is presented in the book The Maze Runner was sacrifice. When Thomas and the other Gladers agreed to go outside of the Glades and into the Maze to solve it in the Griever hole, they all went out in the night and slept in the Maze. When dawn had arrived, the Gladers walked in the Maze and took a few of the Griever hole right at the cliff. Then, Newt gave a motivational speech to the Gladers on not giving up and fighting the Grievers until the very end, when they have solved the Maze. But, before the Gladers started to fight the Grievers, Alby decided to do something that was unexpected and surprising. Alby went straight to a Griever to sacrifice himself. "Their leader had been so scared to go back to whatever he'd seen, he'd chosen to sacrifice himself instead. He was gone. Totally gone"(Dashner pg.333) Alby had clearly sacrificed himself not only for being the leader of the Glades, but to his friend, Newt, and from going to the outside world. After Alby went through the Changing and got some memories from before he got to the Glades, he noticed that he didn't want to go out the Maze. Alby has seen the Maze although, it was unclear in his mind but he still got a good vision of the Maze. Alby knew all along what the outside of the Maze held, and the dangerous things that the other Gladers would see. Alby knew that if the Gladers were to fight the Creators, that someone would be executed and they would have to sacrifice themselves. As a start, Alby felt the necessary need to sacrifice himself. He knew that the Maze is unsafe, and unpredictable as to what would happen next. In a result Alby thought that what comes from out of the Maze is not worth risking for his life for since he already risked his life from being stung by a Griever out in the Maze.

How are these Themes Universal?

The author, James Dashner believes that the loss of memory/identification in yourself, and sacrifice can show that this is a life lesson. Things come unexpectedly that can trigger your life forever. You may never feel the sense of remembrance, because something tragic might have happened to you, or you may lose your best friend your brother or sister, someone that you strongly love, and you feel like there is this imaginary hole in your heart that separates you and your loved one between you. To let go of someone that you dearly loved, cherished comes in ways where you never know thought it was expecting to come before. The loss of memory may make you feel lonely, or you have confusion because you may never be able to connect with your peers easily. To lose you identity, may make you feel lonely, and you may never be able to see what your interests are. You have to find our self and try to fit in which his what people from the Glades first experience as a "Newbie". Things in life can come unexpected in where you have to sacrifice someone, or lose your identity and memory of things.