Simile: "Whispers in the dark. That was what Thomas heard when he began returning to consciousness. Low but harsh, like sandpaper rubbing across his eardrums. He didn't understand any of it. It was so dark it took him a second to realize that his eyes were open" (302)
Thomas is led to believe that his best friend Teresa is betraying him. He wakes up in the cave that Teresa and Aris put him in, and it is when he hears the sounds of whispers that he realizes he is still alive. Presumably these whispers are from Teresa and Aris, but Thomas is never fully sure. The way in which these sounds wake him is not very pleasant either: it is a grating, hurtful noise to his ears. He also cannot distinguish the actual words they are saying. In a lot of ways, this reflects what Thomas experiences with the Trials and with WICKED: he does not understand any of it, even as he is brought close to his death many times.
Simile: "Did the guy have a white suit and kind of look like a rat turned human?" (283)
After the Group B girls capture him, Thomas finally gets a chance to communicate normally to them. Harriet and Sonya have also met the Rat Man before, and so they discuss him with Thomas. To make sure they are talking about the same person, Thomas references the Rat Man's physical appearance. He uses the simile of saying that the Rat Man looks like a rat, even though everyone knows that he is just another human. However, his physical appearance reflects the evilness, filth, and pettiness that actually characterizes the Rat Man.
Simile: "He had no doubt it had been Teresa. None at all. Just like before when they'd spoken to each other, he'd felt her presence, sensed her emotions. She'd been with him, even if it had been for such a short time. And when she left, it was like opening up that vast void within all over again. As if during the days since her disappearance a thick liquid had slowly seeped in and filled that chamber, only to have it all sucked out again when she came and went" (251)
Thomas describes the darkness of not having his best friend's presence so near to him anymore. For Thomas and Teresa, this nearness and pain of absence is even worse is especially acute since they can usually reach out to each other through their minds. When WICKED removes this connection at the beginning of Phase Two, Thomas feels terribly alone as a result. In some ways, this is almost like preparation for when Teresa will have to "betray" Thomas and make him feel utterly alone, just for the purpose of collecting data for WICKED.
Simile: "The wind had gained a rough edge, pelting him with sand and grit until it hurt. Every once in a while a larger object would fly by, scaring him half out of his wits. A branch. Something that looked like a small mouse. A piece of roofing tile. And countless scraps of paper. All swirling through the air like snowflakes. Then came the lightning" (133)
In the Scorch, the wind picks up before the disastrous lightning storm strikes. Thomas sees pieces of torn paper flying through the air and visually compares them to snowflakes. This provides a stark contrast to the next line, which is when the hot and fiery lightning strikes. These fake snowflakes are similar to how the Gladers do not get any real relief from the "heat" of WICKED's Trials.
Metaphor: "Thomas nodded, trying to fight the fire burning through his nerves; he reached up and wiped the sweat off his forehead" (71)
Instead of simply describing Thomas's "nervousness" or the "anger" and "irritation" and "fear" that Thomas feels just before entering the Flat Trans, the narrator uses the word "fire" as a substitute. This "fire" imagery immediately contains all of the other feelings in it, as well as foreshadows the coming heat of the Scorch. Thomas will need this "fire" in his veins to get him through WICKED's horrible Trials.
The Scorch Trials Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Scorch Trials is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.