The Maze Runner


James Dashner

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The Maze Runner: Chapter 61 Summary & Analysis

A woman who Thomas thinks is this new group’s leader explains the realities of the world outside the Glade. She says that natural sun flares began to get worse until one day a flare scorched large portions of the earth and killed millions. After this environmental disaster, a disease called the Flare began to inflect people so that they lost all sense of humanity and became like animals governed only by instinct. She says that only the rich have access to a cure.
Like the teenagers who lost their memories inside the Glade, people infected with the Flare lose all sense of self. However, unlike the Gladers, they also their humanity. The Gladers’ ability to retain their human nature despite losing their identities might help them deal with the problems of the real world.
Memory and Identity Theme Icon
She tells Thomas that the Gladers were only a fraction of the thousands of children who were orphaned after the sun flare. WICKED tested the orphans to find the best and brightest of them who they hoped could be raised in the harsh conditions of the Maze so that they would develop an undefeatable sense of hope despite seemingly impossible odds. WICKED hoped that by raising the Gladers in this way, they could engineer a generation of adults able to find an end to the disasters caused by the sun flares.
The woman’s explanation lends further support to the idea that hope is the most valuable quality for surviving dire circumstances. She implies that in the outside world, people have lost their hope, which has prevented them from finding a cure for the Flare. As we have seen in the Glade, when people lose hope, their chances for survival diminish.
Hope Theme Icon
She explains that the main part of her group lives across a place called the Scorch, which is just a dead zone filled with people sick with the disease. Until they find a cure, her group fights WICKED in order to prevent them from using children in their experiments. She says that they fight WICKED to keep the human race from losing all sense of their humanity.
Remember how the boys sacrificed Ben so they could feel safe? Well, WICKED commits the same injustice on a much larger scale by sacrificing the lives of children for the slim chance that they can stop the disasters.
Sacrifice Theme Icon
The bus arrives at a multicolored building that has a clean and kind staff of people working there. The staff feeds the Gladers pizza and provides warms beds. Thomas eats well and feels as if he could sleep for months.
At the safe-house, the Gladers get back some of the order and security they first had in the Glade. But since the outside world is in shambles, it seems unlikely that this stability will last very long.
Stability and Order vs. Change and Chaos Theme Icon
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