Excerpt: A Force to be Trusted by Sophia Rosenberg

In The Maze Runner by James Dashner, The Flare, a deadly virus, burns up the world, killing thousands, rotting the brains of its victims. Turning some of the world’s brightest into bloodthirsty monsters. Luckily, WICKED has been formed out of the world’s remaining leaders and is sending the world’s only hope, the next generation of teenagers, most of which are immune to the disease killing the world, into The Maze. And WICKED’s plan? The Maze trials, an expansive, ever-changing Maze crawling with Grievers. Hundreds of boys, The Gladers, have already been sent into the maze and have been living there for over two years. They have built an entirely new world for themselves, with the Creators wiping all of their past memory, providing all the supplies needed and sending a new boy each month, except for two, the final two: Thomas, and the only girl, Teresa. First instinct is always a strong first judgment, but it can’t always be trusted, a truth that the Gladers will soon find out.

The door to the Maze closes each night. When Thomas sees Alby and Minho in the Maze, with no hope of getting back to the Glade before the doors close, he knows he needs to help somehow. In the moment, Thomas decides to trust his first instinct, to jump into the Maze to help his unlucky friends. The Gladers have never had a problem with anyone breaking the number one rule: do not go into the Maze unless you are given permission. This rule was created for a reason. No one has ever survived a night out in the Maze with the Grievers, and Thomas’s decision may not have been the best one. But it’s too late now, the boys are trapped in the Maze for the night whether they like it or not. Dashner also uses literary devices such as metaphors to help convey the theme. One example of this is shortly after Thomas jumps into the Maze. “A thick silence followed the thunderous rumble of The Door closing, and a veil darkness seemed to cover the sky, as if even the sun had been frightened away by what lurked in the Maze.” The imagery that Dashner uses in this scene in the text helps to emphasize the gravity of the situation that Thomas puts himself in.

After escaping from the Maze, the Gladers find themselves in an enormous room filled with machinery and about 20 white pods. The room is huge, big enough to fit 20 Homesteads. Soon after their arrival, a woman with brown hair comes into the room, with Galley following behind. As the women started to talk to the Gladers, Gally interrupts. “They . . . can control me . . . I don’t – His eyes bulged, a hand went to his throat as if he were choking. I . . . have . . . to . . .” . Suddenly Gally is pulling something from behind him, a dagger, heading straight for Thomas. All of a sudden Chuck is moving, an instinct that flashes before Chuck’s eyes that he has to follow. Jumping in front of the dagger saves Thomas’s life, but ends Chuck’s. The moment that Chuck sees the dagger start to pummel towards Thomas, he knows that he needs to save him. Thomas is the start of the end, he lead to the escape from the Maze, Thomas seems to be a necessary part of the survival of the Gladers. That very second is when Chuck knows that for certain this first instinct was the right one, one that needed to be trusted.

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Excerpt: Instincts From The Maze Runner by Piper Aaronson

James Dashner’s The Maze Runner takes place in a maze, where survival is everything. The main character, Thomas, starts out just like everybody else, confused. All of the boys there wake up with no past memories. He wakes up in a place where they call themselves the Gladers. In The Maze Runner, the theme is to trust your instincts and to not second guess yourself.