The Maze Runner

Ch. 48-Epilogue Pg. 347-474 Why does the author chose to kill Chuck?

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Eventually they are rescued, but not without tragedy. As has been foreshadowed for quiet some time throughout the latter half of the novel, Chuck dies. With this, Dashner provides a fairly open interpretation of what Chuck symbolizes. Along with innocence, Chuck also represents the "normal" life that he and Thomas so aspired to finding upon their escape. With his death Thomas feels this dream die as well. There can be no home without the family. Thomas has lost a symbolic brother (and, it is strongly implied, possibly a biological brother as well), thereby fracturing the family dynamic that he, Teresa, and Chuck were beginning to build. Chuck's death is all the more bitter because it is both his observational skills that helps them in the Griever Hole as well as the fact that he sacrifices himself so that Thomas, the hero, may live. The sudden loss of Chuck, a guiding light for Thomas, sets off his darkest impulses. He beats Gally to within an inch of his life. There is a rage in Thomas, a violent and dangerous anger that can consume him. Chuck and Teresa have both helped Thomas stay in the light.