The Kill Order

The Kill Order Quotes and Analysis

And as selfish as it sounds, we need to protect ourselves first.

Alec, pg. 54

Not for the first time, James Dashner includes an important human nature: survival. Humans tend to care first about themselves in the case of a catastrophe; then, once their survival is secured, they start thinking about their loved ones. It is unlikely that we find a person who will sacrifice himself to save a very close person. That doesn't necessarily mean that the person who chooses survival doesn't like the other person; rather, this is a feature of human nature that is inevitable.

I may look like I was chewed up and spit out by the meanest beast in the jungle, but I'm not heartless.

Alec, pg. 95

Alec describes himself in two characteristics: mean, but not heartless. Alec is mean, meaning that he is tough when it comes to tough times that need serious people and fast reactions. He is also not heartless, meaning that he is merciful and he respects all those who respect him. He is a kind man with many emotions. Combining these two features, Alec has a strong character that cannot be defeated.

He was scared of being scared.

Narrator, pg.100

Here the narrator is talking about Mark, who suffered a lot since the Sun Flares. His main fear was to be scared from what he faced, because if he got scared, he could ruin everything and end up being killed. When he is scared, he makes himself weak, and enemies look for the slightest hint of weakness to attack and guarantee success. All Mark cares about is surviving with his friends, so the last thing he wants to have is weakness or fear.

He tried to save himself the only way he knows how...honesty.

Narrator, pg. 102

Again, the narrator speaks Mark's thoughts here. The crazy tribe that attacked Mark and Alec threatened to kill them if they didn't provide information. Mark thought that being honest was the only way to get himself out of trouble. When he lies, he might get himself into much more trouble by making things worse. He could say something wrong that accidentally mentioned something that didn't satisfy the tribe–that way, he couldn't explain himself. Especially since he wasn't involved in anything related to the darts, it was a very good idea that he decided to tell the truth, because he proved his innocence to the tribe.

It's a crying shame you never had kids, old man. Just think what a good grandpa you could've been.

Mark, pg. 157

Mark teases Alec that he could have been a great grandpa. This is reflective of Mark's own relationship to Alec. Alec is like Mark's grandfather, or at least some sort of paternal figure. This little quip is also rather sad, because it is a reminder of how many people have died because of the flares, and how many families will not continue. It is a subtle reminder of how much Mark and Alec live in the moment. Although in the end neither of these men - Mark and Alec - will be able to have children and carry on their lines, their heroic acts will live on.

He looked up when he realized the truth. He had lost his mind there for a second. Completely. And just because he seemed like his normal self now didn't mean that it hadn't begun. He slowly pushed himself up along the wall until he was standing, and folded his arms. Shivered, rubbed them with his hands.

Narrator, pg. 208

After Mark tortures an infected Berg pilot to death, he realizes that he too has the Flare. That was why his head had been hurting so much, and why he had felt an unknown rage well up inside of him. This is the first time in the story that Mark has this reflective realization. It also provides an interesting perspective not seen before in the entire series of books: for the first time, readers have a glimpse inside a Flare-infected person's mind. This passage, where the narrator speaks Mark's thoughts, are a powerful reminder of the humanity that still resides in the people who are sick and infected, who simply do not have control over their behavior as the disease progresses. It makes what just happened even sadder, since all human lives matter, but Mark has just tortured someone to death.

Don't worry. I won't let anyone get close.

Mark, pg. 254

Mark says this to Alec when the two of them, bearing Transvices, set out to rescue their friends. While this seems like just a small comment, a simple reassurance to a friend, Mark's words reflect his entire attitude throughout the story. Mark is young, but mature beyond his years. He has been forced to grow up and even act as a guardian at times. He is a protector of his friends and those weaker than him. He is strongly protective of Trina, and in turn Deedee, and this sort of assertion is indicative of how mature and loving he has become of his new "family" of friends.

It could work, John. And as awful as it seems, I believe it could work efficiently.

Katie McVoy, pg. 293

In an email to the then-Chancellor of the remaining governments, government employee/official Katie McVoy is the one to suggest using a virus to kill off part of the world's population. Katie's email is practical, to-the-point, and no-nonsense. She proposes a horribly unethical solution, but her words show no qualms about this: she believes that it is permissible, as her last words in this passage reflect. At this point, the corrupt government officials only care about themselves. As a matter of fact, the natural disaster of the sun flares has caused everyone to only care about themselves. Therefore, the government would of course now only care that it works "efficiently," and does not think about how much pain it would inflict on those it kills, or the families of those who will be killed.

I'm sick, Mark. I'm really, really sick. I need to die. I need to die and I don't wanna die for nothing.

Alec, pg. 301

Before they arrive in Asheville, Mark and his friends realize that they are all now quickly succumbing to the craziness of the Flare. Alec's jarring declaration of his sickness comes to Mark as a surprise. Alec's attitude towards his sickness, however, reflects his character. Throughout the story, Alec has always been the strong ex-soldier, and a brave guardian. He believes in nobility and even in mercy killing. For example, he killed the Toad out of mercy. Later, he killed his best friend Lana out of mercy, because he loved her. His noble actions and thought are reflected one last time in his death. Alec believes that he should die with meaning and significance. He does finally die a noble death - a soldier's death. He not only destroys the Flat Trans from further potentially corrupt usage, but also helps put Mark, Trina, and other Cranks out of their misery.

I am thankful. And I don't think it matters what I think or you think about WICKED. There isn't a choice, is there, sometimes you have to act or die.

Teresa (or Deedee), in Epilogue

In the last accompanying sections of the story, Deedee has now been renamed Teresa by WICKED, and is living in their facilities. She is a bright and mature child, and because of this she almost gets into an argument with Ladena, a WICKED employee. Ladena says that Teresa should be grateful, but Teresa responds spitefully that she is. Teresa, because of all the horrors that she has seen in her life, also understands the importance of pure survival. Sometimes, she knows there is no room for subjectivity or thought: sometimes, only action is necessary. This was definitely she saw reflected in her rescuers and guardians - Mark, Trina, Lana, and Alec. The four of them were brave individuals who acted instead of thinking too hard about what they were doing. This is WICKED's problem, as the world soon realizes. WICKED keeps digging for answers and running more and more experiments to collect data, looking for solutions that might not even be there.