The Maze Runner


James Dashner

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The Maze Runner: Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis

All the boys assemble nervously outside the Box. Chuck explains to Thomas that the boys got used to the routine of new arrivals coming on a monthly basis, so this change seems scary to them. Chuck also explains that before he arrived in the Glade, some boys made long ropes from the ivy on the walls, pried open the Box doors, and sent a boy down the hole. When he was already deep in the hole, something swooshed by and cut the boy in half. Chuck says they keep the bones of the boy in the graveyard so that future Gladers will know not to try that again.
The boys’ nervousness shows how dependent they’ve become on the sense of order in the Glade. Any breach like this unexpected alarm causes panic, as if they’ve suddenly become awakened to the reality of their lives inside the giant Maze. The Gladers decision to keep the dead boy’s bones is a reminder that deviating from the routine can be fatal.
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When the elevator arrives and the doors open, Newt looks inside and announces, “It’s a girl.” All the boys start to hoot and call dibs on her, but Newt cuts them off, saying that she looks like she may be dead. Newt and Alby use vines to lower themselves into the Box and bring the girl’s body out. Thomas notices that she is around sixteen years old, has dark hair and pale skin. He thinks she is beautiful but feels strange thinking that about a dead girl. After the boys get a look at her, they all leave to go back to work.
The phrase, “It’s a girl” is commonly associated with birth. Newt’s use of the phrase reaffirms that coming out of the Box is a metaphor for the moment of birth. By catcalling and calling dibs on the girl, the boys treat her like an object for their amusement and pleasure. They’re acting like stereotypical immature teenage boys, despite their atypical circumstances.
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Thomas is about to go with them when Newt and Alby ask him to stay and look at the girl to see if she looks familiar. Thomas responds that he has never seen her before. The girl suddenly sits straight up. In a hollow and haunted voice, she says, “Everything is going to change.” She then gives a note to Newt, which he reads aloud, “She’s the last one. Ever.” The chapter ends with the girl falling unconscious.
The girl’s arrival brings a sense of hope and renewal to the Glade. The old routine has only led to suffering and imprisonment, but the girl’s remark that “Everything is going to change” might signal a new approach to escaping the Maze.
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