Exposition: Thomas is a teenager who is about sixteen years old. The setting is the Glade and the Maze sometime in the future. One day Thomas finds himself going up a type of utility elevator, it opens up and he is in a larger field surrounded by tall stone walls that have doors that close at night. A group of teenagers are gathered around Thomas as he is exiting the elevator, these teenager are called Gladers and the open area that they live in is called the Glade. Thomas learns that every month a new male teenager is sent to them, they also receive weekly deliveries from the elevator. Some of the Gladers are Alby, the leader, Newt, the second in command, Chuck, who was sent a month before Thomas, and Gally, who immediately despises Thomas.
The first Gladers were sent about two years ago and since then they have set up a functioning small society. The walls that surround them are barriers from the maze, which is their way out and home to monsters called Grievers. Only certain Gladers called runners may enter the maze, anyone else who enters the maze is punished.
Conflict: The main conflict in The Maze Runner is that the Gladers are trapped in the maze.This is an example of an external conflict, specifically, man versus society. The Gladers were put in the maze by a research group called WICKED, who send the, supplies and new Gladers. It is the runners job to map the maze as they go out into the maze daily, unfortunately, the maze changes every night, so they must remap everything. One conflict that the characters face in the maze is Grievers, robot- monsters who can sting you.
If a Glader is stung by a Griever, they receive medicine and you go through the Changing, a process in which the Glader gains knowledge about the maze and WICKED and they may become insane. Rising Action: Thomas wakes up in a utility elevator with no memories except for his name. He is greeted by a group of all male teenagers who call themselves Gladers and who live in an open area surrounded by walls called the Glade. Thomas is introduced some of the Gladers and he becomes friends with the last new Glader, Chuck. Thomas learns his way around the Glade and learns how things work there. On Thomas’s second day, a new Glader arrives, but this time it is a girl, and she arrived one month too early.
The girl has a note with her that says that she will be that last one to arrive. The girl’s name is Teresa and shortly after arriving, she falls into a coma. Thomas soon becomes interested in becoming a Runner, one who goes out into the Maze and maps it, but he is told that it is too early for him to become a Runner. One day, a Glader named Ben who has gone through the Changing attempts to attack and kill Thomas, he claims that Thomas will trigger the end for all of them, Ben is banished into the Maze for this. Later, Alby, the leader of the Gladers, and Minho, the lead Runner are struggling to get back to the Glade before the doors close. Thomas sees this and decides to join them as the doors start to close, as the Gladers behind him are screaming at Thomas to not go into the maze.
Minho scolds Thomas for joining them, as no one has ever survived a night in the Maze, and Alby has been stung by a Griever, so he must be carried everywhere. Minho is certain that they will die in the Maze, but Thomas is able to hide Alby and fend off Grievers the entire night. When they return to the Glade, some see Thomas as a hero, yet others, like Gally, see him as a danger. Thomas is sentenced to a day in the jail for going into the Maze. After this, Teresa wakes from her coma and is able to communicate telepathically with Thomas. She and Thomas find out that the maps of the Maze contain letters that spell out words.
Around this time the sun disappears and the doors to the Maze don’t close at night, leaving Grievers to kill Gladers, Gally is the first to be killed. The Gladers decide that they must leave now or die in the Glade. Climax: Thomas remembers his night in the Maze and how the Grievers seemed to disappear off of a cliff, he believes that this is the way out of the Maze, and that the words on the maps are a code. Thomas leaves with the armed Gladers to the Griever cliff. They face a hoard of Grievers at the cliff and they jump one by one off of the cliff, which leads to a cylindrical tunnel. The remaining Gladers regroup and notice that only around half of them still alive. Theresa goes over to a keyboard on the other end of the room and types in the code words and pushes a button the will shut down the Maze just as new Grievers we’re going down the cliff and into the tunnel.
The Grievers shut down and stayed in place.Falling Action: After Teresa typed in the code and the Grievers shut down a door opened leading them onto a slide that lead to a room behind glass, which had the creators of the Maze on the other side. Soon enough a woman appeared with a boy whose face was hidden.
She congratulated them on escaping and then turn to the boy who showed his face, it was Gally, who pulled out a knife and threw it at Thomas, just then Chuck jumped in front of Thomas, saving his life. Soon enough, Thomas jumped on him and started to attack him, but he was pulled away by Newt and Minho. The woman started to speak again but was cut off as armed men stormed the area and shot the woman to death. The men escorted all of the Gladers to a bus where they were briefed on what was happening. Solar flares had become more frequent and intense, and a sickness called the Flare was spreading rapidly and the Maze was an experiment to find a cure for the Flare. Soon, the bus stopped at a building where the Gladers were given a place to sleep for the night.
Resolution: Around twenty Gladers escaped, including Thomas, Teresa, Minho, and Newt. The Gladers are staying at a building that is operated by WICKED, although they do not know this yet. They are part of a continuing research project that hopes to end the Flare virus.
All of the Gladers falsely think that they are with a resistance group that wants to protect them. The Gladers are also unaware that there was another Maze and possibly multiple more Mazes. More details about what will happen to the Gladers next is in the next book in the Maze Runner Series.Theme: The main theme of The Maze Runner is bravery.
Thomas is brave when he goes into the Maze to save Alby and Minho. Bravery is also shown when Thomas and the other Gladers decide to fight against the Grievers before they escape, as about half of them ended up losing their lives. Another theme is working together, the Glade only worked when everyone did their job correctly and didn’t break any rules. This is so shown at the end, when Thomas and Theresa figure out the code together and during the escape, when some of the Gladers sacrifice their lives for the others and when Chuck jumped in front of Thomas to save him from the knife.
These are the themes presented in The Maze Runner.