The Maze Runner Chapters 29-32 Summary & Analysis
Thomas runs for about an hour inside the Maze until the voice inside his head stops completely. Realizing he must get back before the Doors close, he marvels at the fact that he was able to run so adeptly, as if running the Maze was second nature to him. Though he does not want to return and face Teresa, he knows he must get back to the Glade. Returning, he finds that not only is his body in great shape, he is able to retrace his steps with ease, and knows that he will be a great Runner. Thomas finds his way out of the Maze and immediately goes to the Deadheads to sleep, wanting to be alone.
Chuck wakes Thomas the next morning, telling him that he needs to start acting normal or things will get worse for him. As they reach the kitchen, Chuck tells Thomas how proud he is of him and how great it is that he will be a Runner. Seeing mixed looks of admiration and disgust from other Gladers, Thomas asks Chuck if they found Gally. Chuck tells him that Gally has not been seen since he disappeared from the Gathering. Someone said they saw him run off into the Maze, which means that he is dead. Chuck, however, thinks that Gally is too smart to make such a bad decision, and says that Gally’s friends are probably just hiding him somewhere. Thomas says that he wishes he could have just one day to relax. Newt, who comes up behind Thomas, says that his wish has been granted, as it is now time for Thomas to serve out his sentence in the Slammer.
Thomas is shown into the Slammer, which is in a concrete building near the Homestead, The Slammer contains just one rickety wooden chair and there is nothing to do, so Thomas will have plenty of time to think. After a few hours of agonizing boredom, Chuck arrives with lunch. Chuck talks about what is taking place in the Glade, and tells Thomas that Gally is still missing, though Minho has asked the Runners to return immediately if they find his body. Chuck also reveals that Alby is up and moving around; the thought of Alby makes Thomas forget his food momentarily. Chuck confesses that when he first arrived in the Glade, he cried every night out of fear and a strong desire to go home. He really wants to get out of the Glade. He then asks Thomas if he thinks that he has good parents, parents who miss him. Chuck’s tenderness and the fact that he really is just a child fuel Thomas’s anger at the Creators. He wonders how anyone could be so cruel as to place them in the Glade and deprive Chuck of growing up and living a normal life. Before Chuck leaves, Thomas assures him that he really does have parents who care about him. Thomas also promises Chuck that he will get him home.
As the Doors close for the day, Alby arrives at the Slammer to let Thomas out. Thomas is surprised to see Alby, and wonders if he is alright given that he has just gone through the Changing. Alby notices Thomas’s concern, and says that though he is better, he still remembers what he saw. Alby tells Thomas that during the Changing, he saw Thomas helping the Creators, but the worst part was what he had remembered about the outside world. Thomas asks how he was involved with the Creators, but Alby does not want a repeat of what happened before, when he tried to choke himself. Alby assures Thomas that he does not think he is evil, and that the Grief Serum and the Changing are themselves not to be trusted. Thomas suggests that perhaps the Creators use some sort of hallucinogenic drug. Though he is doubtful, Alby hopes this is true, saying that if the images he saw of the world outside the Glade were real, he would much rather stay in the Glade and face the Grievers than go home, an opinion that startles Thomas.
As Thomas was in the Slammer, he missed dinner. Frypan knew that he would be getting out late, however, and leaves him a much appreciated dinner plate. Minho joins Thomas as he eats and goes over preparations for their time in the Maze the next day, giving him things to think about before bed. As Thomas returns to the Deadheads later that night to sleep, he remembers a story Minho told him during dinner about a woman who was trapped in a labyrinth and managed to find the exit by sliding her right hand against the wall continuously and turning right at every turn. The woman was able to use the laws of physics and geometry, but the Maze is massive, and the Runners had not found an exit in two years. Thomas goes to sleep, determined to find what the other Runners have not.
The next morning, Minho wakes Thomas before dawn and takes him to get provisions for the Maze. Inside a locked room at the back of the Homestead, Minho provides him with running shoes, a wristwatch and other gear. Minho explains that this equipment arrives in the Box and that they can even request things as well. Next, Minho reveals a hidden trapdoor with weapons inside; it is kept secret so that troublesome Gladers like Gally cannot find it. The weapons initially excite Thomas, but he quickly realizes that the knives, spears and swords are because they may need to fend off Grievers one day. With the reality of the Maze hitting home, Thomas takes two knives and then follows Minho to the Map Room, which is the concrete building with the steering wheel door that Thomas had always been curious about.
In the Map Room, Minho draws Thomas a map of the Maze. First he draws a large square that fills up the entire page. Within that square, he draws three rows, each consisting of three squares of the same size, finishing with nine squares in all. He labels the middle square “The Glade.” Starting from the upper left hand corner and moving clockwise, he labels the rest of the squares one through eight. Minho then explains that in addition to the Doors into the Maze, which Thomas already knows about, there are also Doors leading into Sections One, Three, Five and Seven. Moreover, although the location of the Doors does not change, the pathways leading up to the Doors do.
Minho explains that they have eight Runners, one for each Section. Although they have never found an exit out of any of the Sections, they have learned that the Maze repeats itself every month. Minho also admits that the Maze is incredibly discouraging, as they have not found anything of substance in the last two years. Nonetheless, he agrees with Thomas when Thomas says that they cannot give up until they find an exit. With that, Minho takes Thomas to follow him through the Maze.
Chapter 29 – Chapter 32 Analysis
Events in the Glade are escalating and starting to challenge Thomas’s hope of escaping. He runs into the Maze to escape the sound of Teresa’s voice inside his head, as well as the things he has just learned from Alby. In this sense, Thomas runs into the Maze to try and get away from who he truly is and who he might be.
Thomas’s brief jail sentence is served in the name of maintaining order, and he must think about who he is and what he might be while staying overnight in the Slammer. Chuck’s tenderness pulls at his heartstrings, and he becomes angry at the Creators who have trapped the Gladers as if they were mere mice. This scene again shows Thomas’s resolve to help other despite the personal cost; it shows the human face of change and the will to move forward. His dream of being a Runner also comes to fruition, with Minho prepping him on the responsibilities of a Runner before taking him on his first official run. Thomas, while changing the order of things, is also becoming a leader in his own right.