The Maze Runner – Chapters 49-52 Summary & Analysis
At the Gathering, Thomas explains that during the Changing he saw hundreds of flashes of his lost memories. He tells the remaining Keepers that the Maze is a trial that was never meant to be solved. The winners—or survivors—will go on to do something important. Thomas then says that the Creators stole every one of the Gladers when they were children, thinking that they were justified in doing so, and that their names are just nicknames, like Thomas for Thomas Edison, Alby for Albert Einstein and Newt for Sir Isaac Newton. Thomas says that the Creators wanted to test the kids to see if they would keep trying to solve the Maze despite the obstacles placed in their path. Though everyone is confused and some, like Winston, do not believe his story, Thomas continues. He confesses that, although the Maze itself cannot be solved, there is a way to escape that is made possible with the code. He knows how to solve the code because he was with the Creators when they put the code into the Maze.
Thomas expects everyone to be angry at the revelation that he was there when the code was put into the Maze. To his surprise, the entire room is silent. He then explains to the confused Keepers that he and Teresa helped to design the Maze, and that they have been a part of the test from the very beginning, albeit against their will. He then reveals the hardest part, saying that he does not know why the Creators picked them to help but that it may have something to do with them being telepathic. The room remains silent. Finally, having told them about their telepathy, Thomas tells the Keepers that regardless of what he and Teresa did in the past, they were forced to help construct the Maze and that now they are in the same situation as all the other Gladers.
Newt says that the Creators are the enemy, not Teresa and Thomas. Minho agrees, telling Thomas to explain the escape plan. Thomas is amazed at how easily they accept the news; he thought they would be furious, or even throw him off the Cliff upon hearing his revelations. He tells them that there is a computer station in a place they have not looked before. The code will open a door which will allow them to get out of the Maze and shut down the Grievers as well. Thomas says that the Grievers will come at them with all they have, as escaping is the final test. When he sees that he has made his point, he finally tells them that they have to go over the Cliff and into the Griever Hole.
Alby quickly stands up, knocking over his chair. With bloodshot eyes, he points at Thomas and accuses him of working for the Creators, and that his plan to go through the Griever Hole is really just an attempt to get them all killed. Shocked, Thomas reminds Alby that he risked his own life to save Alby’s, to which Alby responds by saying it could have been a trick to win them all over. Minho says that Alby’s theory is preposterous, and Thomas repeats that he got stung on purpose to try and regain his memories to save them all. Alby, defeated, begins crying, and finally reveals that he was the one who burned all the Maps and injured himself. He remembers what it is like in the world outside the Glade, as well as the strange disease that haunts it: The Flare. He says they cannot go back, and that it would be better to die in the Maze.
Minho says that he is with Thomas, and that he would rather die than remain in the Maze. Thomas says that he and Minho are in, and that he knows Teresa will go into the Griever Hole as well. They just need to get in and punch in the code. Newt asks how they will fight off the Grievers, especially if the Creators know they are coming. Thomas then says that hopefully the Grievers will stick to killing just one kid a day, and if so, they need to sacrifice someone to the Grievers so that they stop attacking for the night. Winston mocks Thomas’s plan, and asks who the poor kid will be, at which point Thomas nominates himself.
When Thomas suggests sacrificing himself, the Keepers erupt into an argument. Newt grabs Thomas and tells him to leave the Gathering. He and the rest of the Keepers will need to discuss their options without Thomas around. He tells Thomas to wait for him by the Box; he will meet up with him later and tell him if the Keepers are in on his plan. Newt also adds that, although Thomas feels he is responsible for the entire situation, he will not let him sacrifice himself and that all the Gladers will need to fight their way to the Griever Hole together. Before Thomas leaves, Newt promises that he will try to convince the group to attack the Griever Hole, and that if they do, they should go that very night, before the Grievers kill anyone else.
Thomas makes his way to the Box, and thinks about what Alby said about death and disease, realizing that if they do get out of the Maze, they will be entering a horrible world. Thomas telepathically communicates with Teresa, telling her to meet him at the Box. He then tells her his plan to go through the Griever Hole, which she had pretty much figured out. She says it will be almost impossible, but Thomas tells her it is the only way, and that hopefully only one person will get killed. Teresa says she will meet him shortly and, as he waits, he hopes that the Creators do not reprogram the Grievers to kill more than one kid. Teresa arrives and Thomas tells her about the Gathering and how Newt wants to go that very night if possible. Thomas tells her how scared he is. He has faced a Griever before, and worries that he cannot protect his friends in the Maze. Teresa says he is human and should be scared, but that they will make it through. They hold hands in silence, enjoying the brief moment of peace.
Chapter 49 – Chapter 52 Analysis
The Gathering reveals just how divided people can be over an issue, even if that issue is their survival. Thomas has seen what the Gladers need to do to survive. His task now is to see if the Gladers will trust that he is telling the truth. Thomas also dreads the Gathering because he has learned about his role in creating the Maze. When he informs the Keepers that he and Teresa helped to build the Maze, he does not know what to expect. Newt eventually says that Thomas and Teresa are not the enemy, the Creators are. Newt’s pronouncement releases Thomas from any burden of guilt, though he still feels responsible for the Gladers’ fate. He is relieved that the Gladers are on his side, for the most part. Thomas is one of them now, and he has constantly done his best to protect them.
Alby does not want to escape the Maze and reveals just how desperate he is to not return to the outside world. His confession that he burned the Maps and his attack on Thomas’s character suggest how scared he is, and how frightening the world they are trying to return to is. Thomas’s plan, however, can liberate them from their current hell and they can deal with the outside world if they survive. Going through the Griever Hole is like going into the heart of darkness: they will have to face their biggest fear to find their salvation. Thomas again offers himself up as a sacrificial lamb, knowing that the need of the many should come first.