"He was struck by all the activity around him as he joined them. A bustling crowd of men and women - many of whom clutched rags to their mouths - filled a huge atrium topped with a glass ceiling far above, letting in loads of sunshine. Through one corner he could see the tops of several skyscrapers - though these looked nothing like the ones they'd come across in the Scorch. They were brilliant in the sunlight" (110)
When Thomas first arrives at the Denver airport with his friends, he is stunned by how much of a real world still exists outside of his existence. He has been trapped for too long in closed spaces and dangerous situations. Seeing the beautiful exterior of Denver gives him some comfort and awe. The bright lighting of this scene also simultaneously reflects the light that is finally coming in Thomas's life. For once, Thomas is allowed to take a figurative breath as he comes into contact once again with a normally functioning world.
"Most windows in the buildings they passed were broken, and their guard explained how it had been a huge mistake to allow glass in the towns at all. It had become the number one source of weaponry. Trash littered the streets, and though he hadn't spotted any people yet, Thomas felt like he and his friends were being watched from the shadows. In the distance he heard someone yell a few obscenities; then a scream came from another direction, putting Thomas even more on edge" (173)
The image of the environment of the Crank Palace is spooky and decrepit. It is the farthest thing possible from a palace, and is dilapidated and unwelcoming. Nevertheless, Thomas and his friends have to go through this place to talk to Newt. This imagery is particularly important, because it provides an even starker contrast for Newt, when his friends find him. Newt is not as far Gone as many of the other Cranks, nor is he as dirty or violent. Still, he has been doomed to this. The descriptions make this encounter even more heartbreaking.
"A shirtless man had his back to them, and he was hunched over something, digging with his hands like he'd lost something in the mud and was trying to find it. Oddly shaped scratches covered his shoulders, and there was a long scab crossing the middle of his spine. His movements were jerky and...desperate, Thomas thought. His elbows kept popping back like he'd torn something loose from the ground. The tall weeds prevented Thomas from seeing the focus of the man's frantic attention...Without warning,t eh man sprang up and turned toward them; blood covered his mouth and nose" (164)
Thomas and his friends see a horrific sight in the parking lot of a motel they stay in while in Denver. During this time, they sense that something is wrong with Denver. In fact, the city's officials have been covering up the Denver's high infection rates. If anything, this image confirms the presence of Gone Cranks in the city. It also is firmly impressed on Thomas's mind and the minds of his friends so that they remember what kind of violence they will have to deal with.
"They'd come to a place he'd been told didn't exist anymore. Lush and green and full of vibrant life. He stood at the top of a hill above a field of tall grass and wildflowers. The two hundred or so people they'd rescued wandered the area, some of them actually running and jumping. To his right the hill descended into a valley of towering trees that seemed to stretch for miles, ending in a wall of rocky mountains that jutted toward the cloudless blue sky. To his left, the grassy field slowly became scrub brush and then sand. And then the ocean, its waves big and dark and white-tipped as they crashed onto a beach. Paradise. They'd come to paradise" (320)
Finally, Thomas and his friends reach the paradise that Chancellor Paige has promised them. It almost feels unreal. The imagery is lush, and the descriptive passage is long–it is almost as though Thomas and his friends are taking in the imagery as the author describes it. It is told in colorful terms, starkly different from the dusty adjectives used to describe the scorched and broken places on earth that they have now finally escaped.
The Death Cure Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Death Cure is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.