The Maze Runner


James Dashner

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The Maze Runner: Chapter 53 Summary & Analysis

After the Gathering ends, Newt meets up with Thomas and Teresa at the Box. Newt tells them that all the Keepers agreed to Thomas’ plan. Although the Keepers will go, Newt doesn’t know how many of the Gladers will follow them. Newt says that he’ll get Alby to fight with the Keepers by convincing him that they have a chance at starting a new life together outside the Glade. Thomas’s say that they all need to stock up with weapons and food before the attack.
Hope is the only thing that Newt can offer Alby, the only thing that will give him the will to fight. Without it, Alby’s fear of the outside world consumes him, causing his mind and abilities to waste away.
Hope Theme Icon
Newt agrees that they need to arm the Gladers but says that he and not Thomas will be the one to lead the Gladers because more boys will trust Newt’s leadership. Newt says that in the end, it doesn’t matter if the Gladers try to get to the Hole or not because one boy will be killed tonight no matter what. Not wanting to discourage Newt, Thomas doesn’t express his fear that the Grievers may continue their attack even after killing one of the Gladers.
Thomas keeps his fears to himself because, as he saw with Alby, a lack of hope destroys one’s ability to think and lead. Newt also has too much faith in the predictability of the Grievers’ attacks. He hasn’t yet learned that everything in the Glade (and in life) can change at any moment.
Stability and Order vs. Change and Chaos Theme Icon
Hope Theme Icon
Newt gathers the boys and, to Thomas’ surprise, most of the Gladers decide to go. Thomas thinks most of them have decided to fight because each one of them is secretly hoping that they won’t be the one killed by the Grievers. Before the fight, Teresa and Thomas go into the graveyard to speak privately. Once there, they decide that if they fail to enter the code, then Newt and Alby will be the back up pair to enter the Hole and punch in the code.
The Gladers complicate the Hope theme. Their hope gives them a will to fight, but it seems like a perverse form of hope. Instead of hoping for the survival of their group, they actually hope that someone will die in their place. Like when they sacrificed Ben to give themselves a sense of security, they hope someone will die so that they can protect themselves.
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Hope Theme Icon
Teresa asks Thomas what he thinks the phrase she wrote on her arm, “WICKED is good,” is supposed to mean. Thomas has the sudden realization that “WICKED” is an acronym for the words he saw on the sign within the Maze: “World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department.” Although Thomas figures out the acronym, he says he has no idea why she would write that WICKED was a good thing. Before leaving, Thomas and Teresa agree that they have nothing to lose by trying to fight.
Thomas’ realization about the acronym doesn’t get him any closer to understanding the meaning of the phrase “WICKED is good.” Only when he gets his memories back will he begin to understand the truth.
Memory and Identity Theme Icon
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