James Dashner

The Maze Runner

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  • Features 63 chapter summaries and 6 sections of expert analysis
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The Maze Runner Chapters 37-40 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 37

Despite Thomas’ protestation, Alby has Teresa placed in jail for triggering the changes. Thomas tries to defend her, but Alby says that he is lucky to not be thrown into the Slammer along with her. As Alby calls for two guards to take her to jail, she tells Thomas telepathically that he should come and see her. He tries to respond with telepathy as well, reassuring her that the Slammer is a safer place to be, but receives no response from Teresa.

Mass confusion spreads over the Glade. The Gladers are preoccupied with trying to seal the Doors in order to prevent the Grievers from getting inside, while everyone is moved inside the Homestead for safety. Thomas feels that everyone is working hard so that they can keep from panicking. He helps the Builders first and then helps Minho carry weapons into the main building. When Minho leaves, saying he has a special assignment, Thomas goes to see Newt and tries to convince him that Teresa is innocent. Newt says that if they can survive the night, he will try and free Teresa from the Slammer. Before leaving, Thomas suggests that maybe he and Teresa have been sent to end their time in the Maze and that they simply need to work out how to solve the Maze.

Thomas visits Teresa in the Slammer. She tells him that she is afraid of the Grievers, which surprises him, as she knows things about the Maze without having been told by any of the Gladers. He says that either she remembers more than she realizes or she overheard people talking about the Grievers while in her coma. Teresa admits that she is scared and asks Thomas if he can get her out of the Slammer. Thomas feels horrible for having to leave her, but calms her worries by telling her how safe the Slammer is, and promises to get her out the very next day. As he heads back to the Homestead, he hears what he thinks are the first sounds of Grievers, and hurries inside.

Chapter 38

The Homestead has never been shared by all of the Gladers at once, and the quarters are tight. Minho, Newt, Alby, and Thomas share a room upstairs and discuss what they need to do to defend themselves and escape the Maze. Newt says that the Creators must either want them dead or to push them into action, which Thomas agrees with. Minho says that he and the Runners are going to need to spend the night in the Maze to figure things out, but Alby, who has been unhelpful up until this point, adamantly refuses, saying that the move is too risky. Newt says he agrees with Minho, and Thomas says he is willing to stay out in the Maze as well. Alby seems unable to think clearly, and says that they have to make the decisions from now on. He does not want to give up control, but he does want to shift responsibility. Alby says he will go to the Map Room to look for patterns instead, but the others all say it is too dangerous. Despite their objections, however, Alby leaves.

The Gladers try to get some sleep, though the sounds of the Grievers can be heard getting closer. Although he is afraid, Thomas eventually falls asleep. In the middle of the night, however, he is awakened by the sound of the Grievers nearby. Newt tells everyone to keep quiet, as the Grievers surround the Homestead. Newt and Thomas try to look outside, but they cannot see the Grievers. Thomas thinks he hears three or four Grievers, and hears them shred the wooden barriers the Gladers put in place, and move closer. Thomas remembers being face to face with the creatures, and hears their metal appendages snapping open and closed. Just when the Grievers appear to be right outside the window, everything goes silent. Suddenly, the door from the hallway behind them flies open, and then Gally barges into the Homestead.

Chapter 39

Gally’s clothes are in tatters and he shouts at the Gladers like a madman, saying that the Grievers will kill one person per night until everyone is dead. He walks up to Thomas, declares that everything is his fault, and then punches him. Though Newt pushes Gally off, he repeats that the Grievers will kill just one Glader a night, until everyone is dead. Gally then begins ripping the planks away from the window, hitting Newt in the head with one in the process and knocking him unconscious. As he pulls off a plank, a Griever squirms through the window. The Griever tries to attack Newt’s unconscious body, but Gally speaks and the Griever pauses. Gally says that none of them want to go back to their old lives, and that Thomas should stop trying to get back. He looks at Thomas, and then throws himself at the Griever, sacrificing himself. Thomas screams, and the Griever engulfs Gally before moving away and back towards the Maze. Watching the Grievers return to the Maze, Thomas sees someone running in the direction of the Grievers and the West Door, and realizes it is Minho.

Chapter 40

Thomas runs out of the Homestead and towards the West Door after Minho. As he hesitates, wondering if he should go into the Maze at night given what has just happened, Newt calls after him. Newt tells him not to go into the Maze and that Minho must have finally lost it. He also says that they have bigger problems, but before he can continue, Thomas sees Minho returning. Minho says that he just wanted to make sure that the Grievers did in fact go through the Griever Hole, which they did. When Thomas asks Newt what he meant by bigger problems, Newt points to the Map Room and informs him that someone has burned all of the Maps. Thomas is too worried about Teresa to think about the Maps, however, and leaves Minho and Newt to deal with the fire while he goes to the Slammer to check on her. He is shocked to find that she has slept through the entire ordeal. Teresa asks him what happened telepathically, and Thomas recounts the night’s events to her. After talking briefly about why the Grievers retreated after taking Gally, they start to discuss what Teresa said earlier about the Maze being a code. Thomas wonders if, instead of comparing maps of individual sections from different times, they should be comparing maps of different sections to one another. Teresa suggests that perhaps the Maze is trying to spell something. Thomas agrees, saying that up until now, they have always tried to decode the Maze like a map, instead of looking at it as a picture of something. Though he is elated by this new idea, Thomas quickly remembers what Newt has just told him: someone has destroyed all of the Maps.

Chapter 37 – Chapter 40 Analysis

With the Doors remaining open and the threat of Grievers invading the Glade, the Gladers must pull together and work as a community to defend themselves. Though Thomas knows their defenses are inadequate to keep the Grievers out, the Gladers’ camaraderie highlights the importance of community. Moreover, it shows the need for adaptability, in that the Gladers must now face change whether they want to or not. Though Teresa does not appear to pose any immediate threat, she is placed in jail. Alby’s need to maintain order by sticking to the rules, especially in a time of crisis, is both laudatory and suspect. Newt agrees that because Teresa admitted to triggering the ending she must be punished. Thomas, however, understands that none of this can be Teresa’s fault. They are all victims of the same group of people in the end. Thomas’s need to protect is evident again when he tries to stop Alby and Newt from putting Teresa in jail, though he does realize that she is safe in the Slammer.

The Grievers’ attack on the Homestead highlights the fact that the Gladers have never really been safe. Now, they have nowhere to hide from the Grievers. As the Gladers wait quietly in the Homestead while the Grievers try to get in, they are surprised to see Gally return. Gally informs them that they will be taken by the Grievers one by one before throwing himself at a Griever, who then takes him into the Maze. The scene is symbolic of many things. First, Gally’s appearance right before the Grievers’ suggests that the Gladers have more to be afraid of than just the Grievers; they should also be afraid of man himself. Moreover, Gally throwing himself at the Griever can be viewed as an act of sacrifice. If the Grievers will only take one Glader, Gally has bought the group one more night.

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