The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner Summary and Analysis of Chapters 36 to 40

Ch 36

Thomas does not want to see Teresa. As Newt goes off to see her, Thomas slips away to the edge of the Glade hoping no one notices him in the excitement. He goes to his favorite spot in the Deadhead and pulls his blanket over his head. He hears Teresa's voice again, but not in his head. This time, he hears her with his ears. He lowers the blanket to see her standing next to him.

Teresa tells Thomas that she remembers him from before but that the memories are quickly disappearing now. She knows about the Maze but isn't sure how she is able to communicate with Thomas telepathically. Regardless, Thomas begins to quiz Teresa on anything that she might remember. She tells him that she only has faint impressions. She knows that she and Thomas were involved in the Maze somehow, and that they were used. She knows that there is a reason for their being in the Glade. She knows she triggered the Ending but isn't sure how or for what purpose. She also shows Thomas some words written on her bicep in ink: WICKED is good. Thomas knows he's seen the word WICKED before. They are getting close to something. Thomas holds out his hand to shake Teresa's. They hold hands for a long time. It gives Thomas a pleasant feeling.

The two agree that things have indeed changed and that they are headed toward some kind of major change in the Glade. Before they can discuss it any further, Newt comes running up to them. He is perplexed at how Teresa got there. Teresa explains that the Med-jack that was with her probably neglected to mention that she kicked him in the groin and ran out. Alby appears as well. He wants answers. He demands to know what Teresa has done. She answers that she has triggered something. Thomas asks what is wrong. Alby grabs him by the shirt, asking him if he's noticed what time it is. Thomas realizes the answer before Alby even says it. The Doors have not closed tonight.

Ch 37

Thomas is speechless. Alby orders Teresa be put in the Slammer. Thomas steps in demanding to know how this is justified. Newt tells Thomas that Teresa admitted to this herself. As Alby has Teresa taken away, Thomas realizes he's never wanted to punch somebody so badly. He only just met her. He wants to talk to her. She telepathically tells him to come visit her. Thomas tries to answer but it doesn't seem to work.

The Glade is a chaotic scene. Keepers order the others about. Flashlights are distributed. Nonperishable food is moved to the Homestead. Minho carries weapons out of the basement. The Homestead is to become their fortress. Thomas finds Newt and begs him to let Teresa out. He is sure that she and he were sent to the Glade to end something. Nothing has been an accident. Thomas tells Newt that he believes they are part of some kind of experiment. Newt says Teresa can survive one night in the Slammer. She'll probably be safer there anyway.

Thomas agrees to this but reasons that tomorrow they can spend the entire day trying to figure out what needs to be done. Newt is skeptical that tomorrow will be any different from any day in the past two years. Thomas reminds him that now they have to find a way out. There is no safe place to hide. The endgame has arrived. Tonight they just have to hold the Grievers off, tomorrow they can explore the Maze and find a way to get out or barricade the Griever Hole. "We can fight 'em off", he says. "Done it before, haven't you, Hercules?", says Newt.

Thomas visits Teresa at the Slammer. He wants desperately to free her, or be thrown in there with her. He can only imagine Newt's response to that request. She doesn't want to be in there all night and Thomas is frustrated and sad that she has to be. He tells her she can still talk to him wherever he is. Tomorrow, he says, he'll make sure they let her out.

Thomas steps away and returns to the Homestead and goes inside. Outside he can hear the first eerie moans of the Grievers approaching. The night has begun.

Ch 38

After sleeping accommodations are worked out, Thomas finds himself upstairs with Alby, Newt, and Minho. They continue their conversation from the courtyard. Minho proposes that they stay out in the Maze for days and study as much as they can. Alby thinks the idea is ludicrous. Who would volunteer for that? Minho answers that he and Thomas would do it as well as the other Runners. Alby tells them to do what they want. Even Newt says he would be willing to go out in the Maze for days. Newt wonders what is wrong with Alby. Alby concedes that he has gone through a lot due to the Changing. They shouldn't listen to him. They should form a plan and execute it.

Alby suggests that he be put in charge of studying the Maps. He suggests he go to the Map room immediately. The others are surprised by this suggestion. They have already heard Grievers moving around outside. Alby insists. "I gotta do this, be the old me. I need something to dive into", he says. With that, Alby leaves, exiting into the gray light that still hangs over the Glade, even at night.

Thomas tosses and turns for hours, unable to sleep. He shifts and tries to get comfortable, but to no avail. Thomas shoots to his feet as the sound of mechanized machinery rattles outside. Newt hushes everyone and makes his way to the boarded up window, trying to get a glimpse of what is going on outside. Thomas can hear the creatures moving closer, across the stone ground of the courtyard before reaching the wood of the Homestead. They begin to break through the wood. Suddenly, the door opens. Thomas expects Alby or Chuck. It is Gally.

Ch 39

Gally's eyes burn with insanity. His clothes are torn and filthy. "They'll kill you!", he screams, "The Grievers will kill you all - one every night till it's over!" The others watch him without moving, shocked at his presence.

Gally moves just in front of Thomas and Newt. "You, it's all your fault!", he says, pointing at Thomas. He swings at Thomas, connecting with his ear. Thomas is knocked to the floor as Newt pushes Gally back. Gally tells them the Maze cannot be solved. The Grievers will kill one of them each night until they're all dead. "Their stupid Variables...", he says. Thomas tries to suppress his anger enough to memorize what Gally is saying. Gally insists there is no way out of the Maze, no way to win. He throws himself against the wall and begins tearing the wall down. He grabs one of the boards off the window and clubs Newt with it.

Thomas tells Gally to stop. Gally tells him to shut up, that he knows what Thomas did. A Griever has made its way partially into the room, one of its arms searching around. Thomas is frozen with fear until he realizes the Griever may grab Newt's unconscious body. However, Gally keeps talking, getting the Griever's attention. Gally tells Thomas not to go back to the real world. He tells him he doesn't want to remember. Gally gives Thomas a long look and then turns and hurls himself onto the Griever. The Griever grabs Gally and disappears.

Thomas runs to the window to watch the Gally move off with Gally's body, back into the Maze. He is sickened to the point of throwing up when he sees a lone figure pursuing the Grievers. It is Minho, running at full speed, disappearing into the Maze.

Ch 40

Thomas sprints across the courtyard, ignoring the chaos around him. Newt calls to him but Thomas has his mind fixed on catching up to Minho. Newt presses a towel to his head, the towel beginning to soak with blood from his head. He tells Thomas they have a bigger problem now. Before he can explain Minho reappears, panting. He followed the Grievers to see if they really went to the Griever Hole. They did. Finally, they have a confirmation.

Thomas turns back to Newt to ask him what he was going to say. Newt points to the smoke billowing from the Map room. Somebody set the Map trunks on fire. Thomas isn't terribly alarmed about this. The maps hardly seemed like they were of much use. Minho and Newt go to investigate as Thomas makes his way to the Slammer.

A groggy Teresa comes to the Slammer door. She was sleeping until she heard the Homestead being destroyed. Thomas tells her about Gally. They begin to discuss what Teresa told Thomas about the Maze being a code. Gears begin to turn in Thomas's head. The Runners compare each section day to day. What if they are supposed to compare the maps to other sections instead? Teresa reasons that a code makes her think of letters or numbers. "Maybe the Maze is trying to spell something."

Thomas knows she is right. The Runners have just been looking at the maps the wrong way. They need to use all eight sections in some way. Suddenly Thomas remembers that the maps have all been destroyed.


Once again, Teresa is used as a catalyst for change, rather than existing as a character in her own right. Her awakening is synonymous with the Ending. The game now moves into its final stages. Thomas's fascination with her continues. He has a strong desire to make physical contact with her but is too shy or embarrassed to do so.

But just as he is becoming close to her, she is taken away from him and imprisoned. Thomas's sense of rage becomes palpable. He has a strong desire to strike Alby. For the hero, the goddess character is his ultimate goal. When Teresa is taken away from him, Thomas's instinct is to protect her, even wishing he could join her in the Slammer to be with her. The imprisonment or captive state of the goddess character is common in the hero myth. Consider how chivalrous Thomas becomes as Teresa regains consciousness.

Likewise, it is her presence that allows him to make sense of how the maps are to be used. His reunion with her allows him to connect the dots and discern how the maps can reveal the code they need. Only together are they able to do this, suggesting that their reunion is an absolutely necessary part of the Creators' plan. In this vein it is possible to see the Creators in a very similar position as the gods of ancient myths. Their whims dictate the lives of humanity. In many cases it is the hero that rises up to challenge this status quo and establish a new order.

Notice also that chaos has become the reigning force in the Glade. With the rules of the Glade/Maze relationship completely changed, the Gladers now must adapt to heightened dangers. Gally informs them that the Grievers will kill one and only one of them each night. There is a clear psychological game here to drive the Gladers to action, or to divide them and have them turn on one another. Thomas has striven to be the calm, ordered center, but it is clear that he cannot do this without Teresa. Together they represent a fresh hope for the Gladers. Together they represent a new whole.

Teresa's imprisonment also reveals Alby's fear about the change Teresa has brought. Alby has made it clear that his memories of the real world are anything but positive. He has no desire to return there. His dismissal of Thomas and Minho's plans to stay in the Maze for days reiterates that. He does not want to leave. Again we see the female character persecuted for the truths she reveals. The pre-established order of the Glade is now threatened. The safety it once provided is gone. Alby and the others are simply not ready to accept this. Teresa's persecution also underscores her supernatural side. She may be a goddess to Thomas's hero, but she could be a witch as far as Alby is concerned.