The Death Cure

The Death Cure Essay Questions

  1. 1

    What does Teresa's death signify for Thomas, and how does it tie into their overall relationship?

    Teresa dies for Thomas. She dies pushing him out of the way of a falling block, and takes the blow herself. This demonstrates that she really does care about Thomas and the other Gladers. Teresa's death, in some ways, attempts to reverse her betrayal of Thomas earlier in the Scorch. Unfortunately, this redemption can never be fully realized because she dies and never makes it to the paradise. Still, it somewhat rectifies her friendship with Thomas, who survives.

  2. 2

    Why does WICKED and Janson so badly want Thomas to cooperate with them?

    Janson, the face and representative of WICKED, actually has the Flare himself. While WICKED was set up to protect and preserve and help save humanity, it is an organization that is made up of people. People can become corrupt and can also be selfish. Janson's desperate desire for a cure is almost completely fueled by his desire to have a cure for himself. His instability and obsession with the Cure is probably also a result of his deteriorating mind. They have singled out Thomas as a final candidate, and want to have the procedure be as efficient as possible.

  3. 3

    How does Gally's return impact Thomas?

    When Thomas finds out that Gally is still alive, his whole world is shaken. His last memory of Gally is of the boy as a murderer, having just killed his best friend. However, Gally's reappearance to the story is a balancing one. It solves some of the unanswered plot threads from the earlier stories. It also shows that redemption is always possible between humans. People are able to forgive, whereas things and machines cannot. While Thomas still cannot un-see what Gally did, and Gally only did what he did (he confesses) because he hated Thomas. At the end of the narrative, the two realize that they can still reconcile their pasts and move forward.

  4. 4

    Why is the specific way that Newt dies important to the story and Thomas' character development?

    Newt asks Thomas to kill him several times, and finally Thomas shoots Newt to put him out of his misery. This is one of the pivotal moments of the story, a climax in the plot. Thomas never fully recovers from having to kill one of his best friends. In a way, it is WICKED's fault that things had to come to this, but at the same time, this incident shows a certain maturity in Thomas. Not only has Thomas realized that terrible things like this may happen in his life, but he also has enough courage to show Newt that he loves him. He would rather consent to Newt's wishes of dying before Newt becomes a fully Gone Crank than let his best friend continue to suffer.

  5. 5

    Where do Thomas and his friends end up at the end of the book, and why is it significant as the final location of the story?

    Thomas and his friends are sent by the Chancellor's Flat Trans to a safe location. The safe location is largely untouched by the natural disasters of the sun flares, and it is definitely untouched by the Flare virus. This paradise land is so beautiful and joyous that Thomas cannot even yet take it all in. He says he hopes that one day he can enjoy the happiness of the place. It is significant that it almost doesn't feel real, because Thomas has been through so much that nothing is "normal" or "real" to him. It will take time to adjust to the peace of the paradise, just as it took time to adjust to the cruelty of the Maze or the Scorch. This paradise location provides a clean cutoff from the rest of the world, and provides a complete new beginning for the Immunes.

  6. 6

    How does the return to the Maze impact Thomas and his friends?

    When Thomas finds the Chancellor's note and map, he realizes that the Immunes are in the Maze. This causes him to pause for a moment, and recollect his time in the Maze. This moment shows how memories and bad experiences never truly go away. In the same way that WICKED is using the brains of the Gladers to collect data, so the Gladers are real humans, too, and their brains will never fully forget everything. Thomas has flashbacks and memories all the time. Even though Thomas now knows the truth about the Maze–and even knows that he helped create it–nothing will erase his own experience inside the Maze. Even when he and his friends reach paradise, they will carry the scars of their pasts with them forever.

  7. 7

    Does Thomas really have a choice in donating his brain to WICKED? What is the significance of this illusion of choice?

    Janson asks Thomas, kindly at first, to donate his brain and his life to WICKED in order to help humanity at large. However, Janson soon reveals that there is no real choice here: he will make Thomas donate his brain regardless. This is because Janson himself badly needs the cure. This is demonstrative of how selfish humans can be. Everyone is firstly concerned with their own livelihoods. Thomas does not want to undergo the procedure because he will die, even though he continues to consider that it might help other people. Janson also does not want to die, and so he wants to take Thomas's life in order to possibly help his own. This illusion of choice is something that has pervaded the entire story, in which WICKED has controlled Thomas's entire life. However, after this, Thomas realizes he must truly make his own way, because not all people care about others' lives (as evidenced by the selfishness of Janson).

  8. 8

    Compare and contrast the way in which citizens in Denver treat infected versus uninfected people.

    Denver is very strict about letting in people because they want to preserve their status as a city without Flare infection. However, to do this, corrupt city officials have simply been keeping it under the radar. Furthermore, Denver sends its infected to a quarantine space called the 'Crank Palace'. There, people are left to suffer and go insane and eventually die. There is no hope in the Crank Palaces. This form of separation is really a form of social stratification (though not socioeconomic, as stratification usually is). The people who are not infected or who are Immune are automatically superior, and do not care about the lack of hope for their infected counterparts. This creates an unstable system that was bound to explode into chaos eventually.

  9. 9

    What is the Right Arm's real mission? How does it compare with the objectives of WICKED?

    The Right Arm is an anarchic group opposed to WICKED. Thomas and his friends team up with them because they need its resources, manpower, ideas, and infrastructure. However, the "anarchic" part of the group's missions and vision should be emphasized. The Right Arm seeks only to destroy WICKED, as they see it as a corrupt stronghold of power. They do not want to preserve the human race, as Chancellor Paige ultimately does. Perhaps in that regard WICKED has more compassion than the Right Arm: at least WICKED originally had good intentions to help humanity.

  10. 10

    What is the purpose of the Control individuals in WICKED's subjects? Why are they important to the experiment, and to the story?

    The control individuals are necessary in WICKED's experiments because they provide a comparative basis for the experimental subjects (who are the Immunes). The Rat Man says that they are the "glue" that holds together the data that is to be collected from these cruel trials. However, it is important to remember that these subjects are also humans. This is something that WICKED seems to forget. They treat their human subjects like animals or even less than animals, as though they have no feelings or emotions. When the Rat Man reveals to the Gladers which people among them are not immune to the Flare, he does so in front of everyone. This revelation is a huge emotional blow to the subjects, but WICKED does not care. This showcases the evil of WICKED: though the organization may not have originally been malicious, it seems to have a malicious streak now.