The Maze Runner

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Chuck Character Analysis

One of the youngest of the Gladers and Thomas’ first friend in the Glade. Most of the Gladers find Chuck annoying because of his childish antics and fondness for practical jokes, but Thomas recognizes that Chuck is a loyal and caring friend. They sleep side-by-side every night and Thomas soon feels that Chuck has become like a brother to him. As a result of this affection, Thomas promises Chuck that he will help Chuck find his family once they’ve escaped the Maze. In the novel’s dramatic finale, Chuck sacrifices his own life by jumping in front of the knife that Gally throws at Thomas.

Chuck Quotes in The Maze Runner

The The Maze Runner quotes below are all either spoken by Chuck or refer to Chuck. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Delacorte Press edition of The Maze Runner published in 2009.
Chapter 9 Quotes

“Think about it. Our memories are wiped. We live inside a place that seems to have no way out, surrounded by bloodthirsty monster-guards. Doesn’t that sound like a prison to you?” As he said it out loud, it sounded more and more possible. Nausea trickled into his chest.

Related Characters: Thomas (speaker), Chuck
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:

As Thomas spends more time in his new home, he comes up with more theories for why he's there. Thomas has no memories of the past, so his only option is to try to "fill in" the past with theories and educated guesses. Here, Thomas guesses that he's been sent to his new home because he's some kind of criminal--he and his new peers are being punished for their crimes.

It's interesting that Thomas immediately assumes that he's somehow "guilty"--because he's so unsure of his own identity, he assumes he's being punished for something. Thomas lacks a certain confidence in his own abilities and his own goodness. Thomas's struggle to understand his new environment parallels his struggle to grow into an adult--i.e., to find a stable identity for himself.

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Chapter 60 Quotes

“All things happen for a purpose,” she said, any sign of malice now gone from her voice. “You must understand this.”

Related Characters: Thomas, Chuck
Page Number: 360
Explanation and Analysis:

Thomas, along with the other Gladers, have escaped the Maze and found the Creators. An unnamed woman confronts them, and then she reveals Gally, who throws a knife at Thomas--but Chuck throws himself in front of Thomas, sacrificing his life. As Thomas grows enraged and then despairing, the unnamed woman tells Thomas that everything happens for a reason.

Thomas isn't sure how to interpret the woman's advice (it's possible that, since his memories have been removed, he doesn't realize how cliched and banal it is). The woman's advice suggests that she sees the world through a scientific lens--she thinks that every event has a cause, which can be analyzed and broken down into its constituent parts. (This makes sense if she's a Creator of the Maze, an experiment essentially designed to make everything happen for a reason.) Although Thomas has often thought that the world is a random, unpredictable place, he's gradually come around to the woman's point of view, deciphering the mysteries of the Maze--but then realizing that the Maze itself was made by flawed humans.

Chapter 62 Quotes

He died saving you, Teresa said. He made the choice himself. Just don’t ever waste it.

Related Characters: Teresa (speaker), Thomas, Chuck
Page Number: 371
Explanation and Analysis:

In this chapter, Thomas tries to make sense of Chuck's sacrifice--a sacrifice that saved Thomas's life at the expense of Chuck's. Thomas doesn't understand why Chuck--someone who hasn't always acted very mature--would have done something so heroic for him, and doesn't know how he should react. Teresa tells Thomas her opinion: Chuck's noble sacrifice is an invitation for Thomas to put his life to a greater purpose.

In a way, Thomas is on to his third life: his first life has been erased from his memory; his second life was spent in the Glade; now, his third life is just beginning, thanks to Chuck. (We might think of this as childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.) Gradually, Thomas is learning to be bolder and more mature in everything he does--here, for instance, he comes to see Chuck's death as a kind of mandate, urging him to be a better person. The universe--and Chuck's death--might seem meaningless, but it's Thomas's job to make his own meaning out of the disaster.

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Chuck Character Timeline in The Maze Runner

The timeline below shows where the character Chuck appears in The Maze Runner. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Stability and Order vs. Change and Chaos  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
...one of the nearby buildings. Newt goes off to help and tells Thomas to find Chuck in order to find out about his sleeping arrangements. After Newt runs off, Thomas sits... (full context)
Chapter 3
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
...him unless he touches it. The boy, who’s around twelve years old, introduces himself as Chuck. He says he was the the last kid to come from the elevator before Thomas’... (full context)
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Chuck asks Thomas what his name is, saying that Thomas must at least remember that much.... (full context)
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Annoyed that Chuck cannot give him any information, Thomas goes looking for answers from Newt. Thomas follows the... (full context)
Chapter 4
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
...a concrete building with an iron door that has a steering wheel for a handle. Chuck finds Thomas and hands him a sandwich. After having bad interactions with Alby and Gally,... (full context)
Stability and Order vs. Change and Chaos  Theme Icon
Thomas goes to explore but Chuck says he shouldn’t because the big openings in the walls, which Chuck calls the Doors,... (full context)
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
Stability and Order vs. Change and Chaos  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Chuck reappears at Thomas’ side and tells him he should get some sleep. At that moment... (full context)
Chapter 5
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Before going to bed, Chuck plays a practical joke. He and Thomas hide below the bathroom window of a building... (full context)
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Most boys sleep in the Homestead but since it’s too full, Chuck and Thomas take sleeping bags and sleep outside in a garden. As Thomas starts drifting... (full context)
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
In another moment of realization, Thomas tells Chuck that he’s been to the Glade before. Surprised, Chuck sits up in his sleeping bag.... (full context)
Chapter 8
Stability and Order vs. Change and Chaos  Theme Icon
All the boys assemble nervously outside the Box. Chuck explains to Thomas that the boys got used to the routine of new arrivals coming... (full context)
Chapter 9
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Sexism Theme Icon
...her and feels connected to her in some unknown way. Alby calls a Gathering, which Chuck explains is something that only occurs when something truly significant happens. (full context)
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Hope Theme Icon
Thomas and Chuck go to raid the kitchen for some food. As they eat, Thomas asks Chuck what’s... (full context)
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
After Thomas and Chuck finish eating, Thomas goes exploring and discovers a beetle blade, which reminds him of a... (full context)
Chapter 13
Stability and Order vs. Change and Chaos  Theme Icon
...into the graveyard area to find a quiet place to think. He is interrupted by Chuck, who tells him that Ben didn’t die from the arrow wound and that the Keepers... (full context)
Chapter 22
Stability and Order vs. Change and Chaos  Theme Icon
Hope Theme Icon
...Gladers gawk at them with awe. Thomas goes to sleep but is woken up by Chuck a few hours later, who tells him that Alby has survived but is now going... (full context)
Chapter 23
Growing Up Theme Icon
Chuck and Newt find Thomas in the graveyard. Newt tells him that Alby be will alright... (full context)
Chapter 26
Stability and Order vs. Change and Chaos  Theme Icon
...the Keeper of the Runners in a month. The Keepers vote and Newt’s proposal passes. Chuck runs into the hall after everyone’s left except Minho and Thomas. Chuck tells Thomas that... (full context)
Chapter 29
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
Chuck wakes Thomas the next morning. Chuck tells him that Gally has disappeared. Some of the... (full context)
Chapter 30
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
Stability and Order vs. Change and Chaos  Theme Icon
...one rickety wooden chair and nothing to do. After a few hours of intense boredom, Chuck arrives with Thomas’ lunch. He says no one has found Gally yet but that Alby... (full context)
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
Hope Theme Icon
Chuck tells Thomas that when he first arrived, he cried every night out of fear and... (full context)
Chapter 34
Stability and Order vs. Change and Chaos  Theme Icon
...just disappear, the sun along with the whole sky must have been an artificial illusion. Chuck comes next to Thomas and says the sky looks like a grey ceiling. The memory... (full context)
Chapter 35
Stability and Order vs. Change and Chaos  Theme Icon
...supplies have stopped coming through the Box. As Minho tells them about the Griever Hole, Chuck comes running to them to tell them that the girl is awake. Thomas then hears... (full context)
Chapter 43
Growing Up Theme Icon
Hope Theme Icon
...to follow him through the Maze like the last time. Before they enter the Maze, Chuck meets up with them and wishes Thomas luck. As he leaves, Thomas tells Chuck to... (full context)
Chapter 46
Growing Up Theme Icon
Hope Theme Icon
Chuck, Teresa and Newt find Thomas lying in the grass, barely consciousness. They carry him back... (full context)
Chapter 48
Memory and Identity  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Hope Theme Icon
Thomas hears a voice calling his name and realizes it is Chuck. When he wakes, Chuck tells him that he’s been out for three days and that... (full context)
Chapter 54
Sacrifice  Theme Icon
Hope Theme Icon
During the last meal before they all enter the Maze, Thomas and Chuck talk about the plan. Chuck says he’s not scared because only one person will die.... (full context)
Hope Theme Icon
As the Gladers run toward the Maze, Thomas notices Chuck and Teresa running beside him with spears in their hands. Thomas feels an overwhelming sense... (full context)
Chapter 56
Sacrifice  Theme Icon
...more Keepers followed by the Gladers try to clear a path for Thomas and Teresa. Chuck tries to help the Gladers but Thomas pulls him close. Not wanting Chuck to risk... (full context)
Hope Theme Icon
...keep running to the Hole. He and Teresa both get slashed by the Grievers and Chuck almost gets taken by one of them. After these close-calls, they make it the edge... (full context)
Hope Theme Icon
Teresa jumps in and then Thomas helps Chuck make the jump. As he helps Chuck into the Hole, Thomas feels a love for... (full context)
Chapter 57
Growing Up Theme Icon
...last word, “PUSH.” Before Thomas can come help, two more Grievers come through the Hole. Chuck then points to a button under the computer and says maybe she should push that.... (full context)
Chapter 58
Sacrifice  Theme Icon
...suck their instruments into their skin and turn off their lights. Thomas and Teresa cheer Chuck for finding the button. Minho then jumps into the Hole, followed by Newt, and some... (full context)
Chapter 59
Sacrifice  Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
In a flash, Chuck saves Thomas’ life by diving in front of the knife. As Thomas cradles Chuck in... (full context)
Chapter 60
Stability and Order vs. Change and Chaos  Theme Icon
Hope Theme Icon
Thomas realizes that Chuck was a personal symbol for the possibility of returning to a normal life. Now that... (full context)
Chapter 62
Sacrifice  Theme Icon
...to sleep, Thomas talks to Teresa in his head. She tells him she’s sorry about Chuck. He begins to explain the promise he made to him, but she cuts him off,... (full context)