The Maze Runner Chapters 45-48 Summary & Analysis
According to Thomas’s watch, it is midmorning when they return through the West Door; the two boys were in the Maze for nearly twenty-four hours. Newt arrives and says that the Grievers came and took a boy named Adam, whom Thomas has never met. Minho becomes upset, shouting out that everything is over, before stomping off. Thomas thinks that if someone like Minho has given up, they have no hope left. The other Runners all return within the hour and no one else has found an exit or anything different. The workers have begun abandoning their daily jobs. Thomas speaks to Teresa telepathically again, excited that it works, and she says that with the help of three or four Gladers, she thinks they have the code all figured out, and invites him to come and see it.
When Thomas arrives, Newt lets him in, though Minho is still nowhere to be found. Teresa eventually shows him the message, which none of them can figure out. When Thomas looks at it, he sees six words: FLOAT, CATCH, BLEED, DEATH, STIFF, and PUSH written in block letters. Thomas is disappointed, having thought that the code would be more obvious. Teresa says that the Maze has been repeating those six words for months. After PUSH, the Maze gives them no new letters for a week before resetting to FLOAT. Though Thomas has no idea what the words mean, he comes up with an idea, though he tells no one about it. Just then, he gets dizzy, and though Newt and Teresa are worried, he assures them that he is just tired, so Newt sends him to get some rest. Though his idea is terrible, Thomas knows that the Gladers need more memories if they are to understand the code. To get those memories, Thomas decides that he will get stung by a Griever and go through the Changing in an attempt to remember.
Thomas spends the rest of the day avoiding everyone. Teresa tries communicating with him telepathically, but he says he is tired and wants to rest before trying to find some link to the code. The truth is that Thomas is preparing himself to get stung by a Griever. He is terrified by the prospect and does not want anyone to see how nervous he is. As evening arrives, Thomas goes to the Homestead with everyone after dinner and waits for the nightly attack. As if on cue, the Grievers return, and everyone pauses, waiting to see who will be taken. Shouts are suddenly heard from upstairs, and Teresa and Thomas, who are downstairs, learn that a boy named Dave has been taken. The Griever barrels through the house, destroying the front door on its way out. Thomas realizes that it is now or never, and jumps up, following the Griever despite Teresa and Newt’s protestations. Thomas sees other Grievers join the Griever who has Dave, and he runs into the middle of the group, startling them. He jumps on the Griever with the boy, and the group of Grievers close in, stinging him. Afraid he might be taken as well, he fights back and is able to free himself.
The Grievers leave him and head back to the Maze. Teresa and Newt find Thomas collapsed on the grass, barely conscious. Everyone is angry with him for doing something so reckless. He tries to tell Newt that he wanted to get stung, but cannot. They carry him back into the house where he is finally injected with the Grief Serum. Before he passes out, he whispers that he got stung on purpose, hoping that they can hear him.
Thomas begins the Changing, and has no concept of time or place. It is like waking up in the Box; it takes some time before anything starts to happen. He feels what seems to be a strong wind pick up and engulf him, ripping at his clothes. Eventually he begins to feel warm sensations and memories begin to flood his thoughts, as well as intense pain.
Thomas hears a voice calling his name, and realizes it is Chuck. At first he does not want to awaken fully, because of the pain, but then memories of the Glade and the code—and the terrifying thing they need to do to get out of the Maze—come back to him. He finally sits up, and Chuck tells him that he has been out for three days. They had to put him in the Slammer at night so that he would be safe. Chuck also says that Zart and two other boys were taken by the Grievers. Thomas tells Chuck to get Newt so that they can call a Gathering. He now knows what they need to do, but he also knows it will not be easy. He then contacts Teresa telepathically and tells her that he remembers more now. He explains that they did terrible things before ending up in the Maze. Though she is angry with him, she asks about the “crazy” idea he has for getting them out of the Maze. He says that the plan is dangerous, and that some of them will probably die. Before he can tell her what it is, however, Newt enters.
Newt says he knows why Thomas got stung, but that it was a stupid idea. Thomas tells him that they need to call a Gathering so that he can share his memories and explain how to escape. He also says that the Maze is actually a test—an experiment—designed to see if the Gladers will continue to fight and hold onto hope or give up when different obstacles are thrown at them. Thomas says that Teresa’s appearance and the sun’s disappearance is simply the final part of the test. Now the Gladers must escape the Maze.
Chapter 45 – Chapter 48 Analysis
Thomas feels guilty when he learns that a boy he does not even know has been taken by the Grievers. He wants more than anything to protect the Gladers, and the code just might be the answer. The code is revealed to be six words that have been repeating themselves in the Maze. This revelation, though confusing, highlights how important it is to look at things from a fresh perspective. By challenging the status quo, Thomas was finally able to read the Maze. The changes he instigated, though troubling, have also been the impetus needed to understand their predicament and escape the Maze.
Burdened with the need to protect others, Thomas decides to purposely get stung by the Grievers. The idea is foolish, even to Thomas, but he knows it is the only way to get his memories back and figure out what the code might mean. Thomas decides to sacrifice his own safety in an attempt to help the group. His growth and maturity are highlighted by the fact that, though frightened of what he is doing, he attacks the Grievers in a desperate attempt to get stung and go through the Changing. Doing so, he finds that there is indeed a way out of the Maze, but that lives will be lost. The entire Maze is simply a test to determine if the Gladers will remain hopeful, or give up. In this way, Thomas has shown that hope is indeed the most powerful weapon that he has, and that the Gladers need it to survive.