The Maze Runner Summary & Study Guide

James Dashner
This Study Guide consists of approximately 88 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Maze Runner.
This section contains 683 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Maze Runner Summary & Study Guide Description

The Maze Runner Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

“The Maze Runner” by James Dashner is the story of Thomas, a sixteen-year-old boy who finds himself in total blackness. He has no idea of how he got there or what the outcome will be. When the blackness begins to ascend, he realizes that he’s in some kind of eerie elevator. When the elevator stops, he is pulled out by boys around his own age. He does not know any of the boys.

Where is he and why is he there? All Thomas remembers is his first name. He doesn’t have any memories of his former life – his surname, his parents, his school, or his friends. He knows the meaning of all the words but cannot apply them to his former life. Despite the fact that he doesn’t know where he’s going or where he’s been, Thomas’s first thought is that he wants to get out and return to where he belongs.

Thomas is greeted by the two leaders of the Glade, which is the odd world into which he was thrust. Alby, the top man, is immediately suspicious of Thomas. He recalled seeing Thomas in the images and memories that were called forth during the Changing. Of course, Thomas has no idea what the Changing is or why this total stranger is suspicious of him. Newt, the second in command, is a wise and sensitive leader. He takes to Thomas immediately. Newt also becomes a great ally and advocate of the Greenbean which, along with Newbie, is the name given to the newest member of the Gladers society.

Thomas is handed over to Chuck who’s been in the Glade a month. Chuck is to show him around and find a place for him to sleep in the Homestead. Chuck is only twelve or thirteen. He becomes like a little brother to Thomas. Chuck looks up to Thomas who ultimately proves to be a savvy and brave young man. Thomas is plagued by the forgotten memories of yesterday. He knows it’s not normal and that someone must have been messing with his mind.

Thomas is shocked when he looks in on Ben who had just been stung by the Grievers. Ben is going through the Changing. After seeing how debilitating physically and emotionally the Changing is, Thomas knows that it’s something he never wants to be subjected to. But he’s curious about the Grievers – what in the world are the Grievers and why did they sting Ben and put him through so much misery.

This Greenbean quickly learns that there is another section of the Glade, a kind of anti-Glade section known as the Maze. The Maze is a series of eerie corridors, walls, and aisles that seem to lead nowhere. There is a rule against entering the Maze, especially at night when the Grievers are out. Thomas learns that the Grievers are huge bulbous blobs that are equipped with metal arms and needles that pursue the boys as their prey. Once their poison is injected into a boy he must be administered the Griever Serum immediately or he will die. The Grievers carry some of the boys away. No one wants to know what happens to them.

When a girl named Teresa arrives in the Box, everyone knows that things are definitely changing. She is the first girl in the two year history of the Glade. She and Thomas have a connection. They are both gifted with telepathy. Also, they eventually understand that they had a connection in their prior lives.

Thomas devises a way for everyone to escape; but, the pathway is not an easy one. After a huge battle with the Grievers and a dare-devil escape, the Gladers confront the Creators who snatched them from their real lives and placed them in their nightmare.

Thomas and Teresa and the others who made it out now feel they have the chance for a bright and normal future. While they are thinking that they can rest and relax, the Creators are “creating” phase 2, another challenge for the youngsters.

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