Simile: "Something like a jolt hit Thomas in the chest...He was surprised at his own reaction, hadn't realized just how much Newt meant to him until he heard the declaration. A thought occurred to him - earlier the Rat Man had said that the control subjects were like the glue that kept the project's data together, made it all coherent and relevant. The Glue. That was the title given to newt - the tattoo that was etched in his skin even now, like a black scar" (27)
The Rat Man compares the control subjects to the "Glue" that holds WICKED's Trials and their purpose together. This is the same reason why Newt's tattoo had been the cryptic label of "the Glue." Newt, unlike the aggressive and headstrong Minho - or the calm and capable Thomas - is beloved by almost everyone in the Gladers' group. He is the friendship glue that holds them together, and often helps Minho and Thomas solve their conflicts. However, the control subjects are a different kind of "Glue" to WICKED. The Control variables hold together WICKED's mission, because they provide a comparative basis with the experimental subjects. Using the word "glue" is a reminder of how WICKED only sees its human subjects as disposable objects.
Simile: "The whole situation had taken on a bizarre taint, too casual and run-of-the-mill for the seriousness of what was going on. Like gangsters calling out roll call before they slaughtered a group of weeping traitors. Thomas didn't know what to do but go along until the right moment present itself" (32-33)
As the Rat Man is about to remove the Gladers' memory Swipes, Thomas, Newt and Minho refuse the procedure. Thomas watches as the Rat Man and his associates continue on with the procedure despite their defiance. He watches as Janson calls out the names of his friends, and Thomas compares them to "gangsters" and "slaughterers," because that is essentially how WICKED has treated their subjects: violently and cruelly, like animals.
Simile: "Thomas could tell immediately that the black-haired kid who answered was Gally from the Glade. No doubt about it. But his face was badly scarred, covered in raised lines like thin white slugs. His right eye looked permanently swollen, and his nose, which had been big and slightly deformed before the Chuck incident, was markedly crooked" (117)
Thomas describes Gally's face with candidness. He also knows that Gally's scars are from his own hands: he beat the other boy very badly after Gally accidentally killed Chuck. Comparing Gally's scars to "thin white slugs" is like a reminder of the animalistic ways Gally killed Chuck, and then subsequently how Thomas beat Gally up. It also constructs a very disgusting image of Gally's face.
Simile: "The pleading in the man's voice made Thomas feel incredibly sorry for him. 'Plenty of cheaper drugs than that. Quit lying and shut your mouth.' Red Shirt waved a hand as if swatting a fly. 'Who cares. Bag the sucker.' Thomas watched as the infected man curled up even tighter, gripping his legs to his chest with both arms" (146)
Thomas watches the Flare Tester sadistically abuse an infected man who was illegally using the Bliss. He starts to sympathize with the infected man, since he was obviously already in pain. The way that Red Shirt waves his hand dismissively is reflective of the way some Immune people and some authorities (like Flare testers) treat the poor Flare-infected: they abuse them and do not give them a second thought.
Metaphor: "'KILL ME!' And then Newt's eyes cleared, as if he'd gained one last trembling gasp of sanity, and his voice softened. 'Please, Tommy. Please.' With his heart falling into a black abyss, Thomas pulled the trigger" (250)
Thomas finally kills Newt, one of his best friends, in order to put Newt out of his misery. Newt is already a Crank, and on his way to becoming fully Gone. After Thomas shoots Newt, Thomas feels his heart sinking into darkness, and uses the metaphor of an abyss to convey the horrible feelings that swallow him. An abyss is a dark, deep, and possibly bottomless hole. This reflects the dark and overwhelming sadness that will affect Thomas for the rest of his life.
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.