The Maze Runner Chapters 41-44 Summary & Analysis
Teresa implores Thomas to get her out of the Slammer but, instead, he runs to the Map Room to see if anything has survived the fire, even though he feels awful about having to leave her. When he arrives at the scene, he finds a group of boys huddled around a body on the ground, with Newt crouching down beside it. Minho is visibly upset, and when Thomas looks closer he sees that it is Alby; Newt is cleaning blood off his face. Minho says that he initially thought Alby set the fire, but now it seems that whoever did start the fire must have beaten Alby up, as he has a huge gash on his face. He says the incident with the Maps does not really matter, which confuses and angers Thomas, who feels that Minho is withholding something. Thomas tells Minho that he and Teresa might have figured something out in relation to the Maps, and receives a strange look from him. Minho calls Newt over, and the three boys head to the Slammer.
At the Slammer, Thomas pleads for Newt and Minho to release Teresa, promising he will tell them what he and Teresa have deduced in return. Though they initially refuse, Thomas argues that she poses no real threat and that even if she did say she triggered something, she cannot hurt every person in the Glade or even be held responsible for whatever “gibberish” she might have said while in the Box. Minho and Newt finally agree to let her out and Thomas explains their idea that the Maze is a code. Minho asks what kind of code they think it is and Thomas responds that he would have a better idea if he had the Maps. That is why he had hoped the Runners could remember as much about the Maps as possible. He receives the same strange looks from Newt and Minho, and they reveal that the Maps are in fact safe. The day before, when Minho went off on a special assignment, he hid the real Maps and replaced them with paper. With this new knowledge and a possible clue to figuring out the Maze, all four head to find the Maps.
Minho hid the Maps in the weapons room, and once the group retrieves them, Thomas tries to explain his theory to them. Newt and Minho do not understand initially, but Thomas feels that the answer to the Maze is right in front of him. He tells them that perhaps they should be looking at each day as a code, all eight sections at once. To illustrate his point, he lays the pages one on top of the other and suddenly sees what he needs to do. Without telling them why, Thomas says that he needs wax paper from the kitchen, scissors, and black markers and pencils. When Newt and Minho return with the materials, Thomas asks everyone to trace the last ten days of each section of the Maze onto the wax paper. Though Minho asks why, Thomas says they have to do it to understand. After tracing for a while, Newt finally says that he has had enough, and they should test out Thomas’s theory before continuing. Though nervous, Thomas lays a single tracing from each day and section on top of each other so that he has as an eight page stack. When Thomas looks at the stack, the lines crisscross to reveal a dark image at the center of the page: the letter F.
Thomas, Newt, Minho, and Teresa are shocked to see the letter, and Teresa tells Thomas they need to do more tracings in case it is just a coincidence. Thomas traces more days and stacks them together, and after some time, they trace out two words: “FLOAT” and “CATCH.” Thomas is excited to continue, but Minho stops them, saying that he and Thomas need to get back out in the Maze. Thomas is baffled, and says that the present task is far more important than running through the Maze. Besides, they have been at it for two years and nothing has changed. Minho agrees that perhaps the code is more important, but they need to be out in the Maze more than ever now, and even stay overnight if need be. Newt agrees, and promises to find trustworthy Gladers to help him and Teresa finish deciphering the code. Thomas finally agrees to go out running with Minho.
As they gather the Runners, Minho tells Thomas to follow him through the Maze like the last time, which is a relief to Thomas, as it means he does not have to be alone with his own section in the Maze. Before they enter the Maze, Chuck meets up with them and wishes Thomas good luck. As he leaves, Thomas tells Chuck not to forget his promise, and that he will get him home. Chuck gives him a thumbs up, with tears in his eyes, and then Minho and Thomas run into the Maze.
As Thomas and Minho run through the Maze, they notice that nothing has changed since the previous night. Teresa speaks to Thomas telepathically, saying that they have made progress with the code. His first instinct is to ignore her, but he eventually tries responding to her telepathically, by visualizing the words. When he asks her if she can hear him, she eventually says yes, though it is faint. The two wonder why they are able to communicate in this way. When Teresa suggests that they might have been lovers, Thomas is caught off-guard and trips. He senses Teresa laughing, and she admits that she is joking, but then remarks that the Creators probably did something to their brains to give them telepathy. Thomas thinks about Gally and how everyone who has undergone the Changing recognized him. Teresa wonders about what she wrote on her arm, about WICKED being good, but then says she has a headache. Thomas reveals that he gets them too. He tries to get her to talk about what she wrote on her arm, but finds that Teresa has stopped communicating telepathically, because of the strain.
Minho and Thomas finally stop, and Minho announces that they have run through their entire Section, and have found no exits. For the next few hours, he and Minho explore the Maze more closely, feeling the walls and even climbing the ivy to look for clues. The only thing Thomas finds is another plaque that says WORLD IN CATASTROPHE—KILLZONE EXPERIMENT DEPARTMENT. Though they search a bit more after that, they find nothing, and around the time the sun would normally set, they begin to look for signs of Grievers. Before long, they spot a few that rush around them or right past them. The two boys walk back towards the Glade, depressed. Minho says that the Creators are probably just playing with them, that the whole thing is a game and now they are going to end it. He also says that he would not be surprised if, when they return, they find that a boy has been taken, just as Gally said. Thomas agrees, without saying so, and the two boys head back to the Glade.
Chapter 41 – Chapter 44 Analysis
Newt’s decision to hide the Maps in case they really were in danger shows a great sense of leadership on the teenager’s part. While a crisis was taking place, he was able to think of and protect the Maps, which subsequently reveal a code to the Gladers. Once again, Thomas’s actions show that change can be a good thing, and that escape might be possible for the Gladers. Also important is Minho’s assertion that he, Thomas and the rest of the Runners go back into the Maze. Thomas thinks running the Maze is no longer necessary, the point, however, is that the Gladers should leave no stone unturned.
Minho’s willingness to continue with the way things were can be seen as an attempt to restore order by showing the rest of the Gladers that there is still hope and that their society can function as normal despite all the changes. His determination to continue running can also be seen as a sign of hope. The Runners have been doing their job for two years and noticed nothing. Thomas looked at the Maps with fresh eyes and noticed something that just might help them all to escape. Therefore, Minho’s actions actually make perfect sense because, not only might something have changed in the Maze, but they might see something differently. The Grievers that run past the boys indeed signal change, and though the boys are depressed at having found nothing, they still have the hope of the code.