Hearing the sounds of Alby’s screams, Thomas is no longer able to sleep. To find some quiet, he goes to the graveyard and feels the crippling reality that he is surrounded by a Maze that contains real-life monsters. Thomas feels an intense desire to get revenge on the Creators and the people who put him in the Glade.
This setting in the graveyard heightens the reader’s sense of Thomas’ hopelessness. The graves suggest that at some level Thomas also wishes to join their ranks (later in the novel Minho will accuse him of having a death wish). If he remains hopeless, then the only “escape” to the Maze that he’ll find will be over the Cliff.
Chuck and Newt find Thomas in the graveyard. Newt tells him that Alby be will alright soon. When Thomas asks about what happens during the Changing, Newt says that all they know is that the Gladers who go through it get glimpses of their erased memories. Newt says that people go a little insane and become unlikable after the Changing because it’s like having your life back and then having it taken away all over again. Thomas responds that maybe they go crazy because they realize their old lives were no better than their current ones.
As its name implies, the Changing is a metaphor for puberty. Since most of the Gladers were children before arriving in the Glade, Newt’s interpretation of the Changing suggests that the boys realize that they can never return to the innocent happiness of childhood. In terms of the metaphor, Thomas responds that puberty makes them realize that their childhood was never that perfect in the first place.
Before Newt leaves, he says that all the Keepers will meet tomorrow to discuss if they should reprimand Thomas for breaking the rules by going into the Maze or honor him for saving the lives of Minho and Alby.
The Gladers value their system of order so much that they’ll still hold a trial to determine if Thomas deserves punishment even though he risked his life to save Minho and Alby. This strict adherence to the law seems absurd since Thomas only broke the law because it was preventing him from saving lives.