and ramblings on everything in between
I joined a virtual book club for the summer and we’re reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner in short bursts over the next few weeks. To learn more about this Read Along with Me group, you can check out my original post here and visit the Creator’s blog (Do you like what I did there, Sam? 😉 ) by clicking here.
Chapters 10 – 19
Question 1: On page 81, Minho refers to Alby as ‘El Presidente.’ Where do you think Minho gained knowledge of the Spanish language? Is this something that wouldn’t have been wiped from his mind upon entering the Maze; something he knew before? Newt uses the British slang ‘bloody’ on page 99. Are the boys retaining a sense of their cultural identities from before entering the Maze?
I assume the Creators took away all their memories to keep them from understand what the world was/is like outside the Maze, possibly to just confuse them more or to see how they fend for themselves without relying on their memories. The boys still remembered how to function when they get to the Maze – they remember how to speak and the importance of finding food and building shelter – so I don’t think it’s a stretch that Minho and Newt remember these terms/words from their former lives.
Question 2: The note the girl had in her hand said “She’s the last one ever”. I interpreted this to mean that this is the only girl they will ever get into the Glade but all the boys interpret it to mean that she’s the last person to be sent. If the Creators are trying to create a longer term settlement then one woman is not going to make a robust community but if they want to introduce some tension into a bunch of teenage boys, sending one girl is probably very effective. Assume the note means that only one girl will ever be sent, but boys will continue to arrive in the Glade. Why would the Creators do this?
I’ll be honest with you, I held my breath when they threw a girl into the mix. My mind instantly went to a bad place even though I knew the author wouldn’t put anything too crazy in a young adult novel (or maybe I’m just way too naïve). I’m glad the boys have left her alone for the time being. My guess is the Creators wanted to test the boys by breaking up the routine and creating a kink in their very systematic system. Huge changes like this get them into a panic and it seems that one reason they are in the Glade in the first place is to be observed. Everyone seems sure that Thomas knows who the girl is so maybe the two of them are up to something we don’t know yet.
Question 3: The Grievers are obviously the biggest problem the boys have within the maze/glade. Does it seem weird that (as far as we know) the boys haven’t done anything by way of creating weapons to fight them or at least defend themselves? They clearly have tools that would work: the knives for slaughtering, garden tools, building tools (like the saws and such that adorn the Grievers). Alby even had a bow — but they didn’t bring it with them when they went to check out the dead Griever. What do you think the story is there?
I hadn’t thought of this, but you make a really great point. Thomas keeps asking all the question we want to ask about what they’ve tried to do to get out of the Glade, and now that you say it, it seems funny that Thomas hasn’t pointed this out yet. If enough of the boys ganged up on a Griever, surely some of their weapons would do some harm. Perhaps they don’t bother knowing they would lose so many of the boys in the fight, and there are so many Grievers that would come after them.
Question 4: So far I can’t say that I’m really attached to any of the characters. I don’t particularly dislike them but neither do I think I would be greatly impacted upon if one of them left the story. I am however curious about Chuck – I’m not altogether sure that I trust him yet. What are your feelings on the characters so far?
I agree with you on this one. I don’t necessarily care for the boys either, and I think Chuck is the one who most intrigues me. All the other characters come off as being tough, mature, and on the brink of kicking someone’s butt. Chuck is the only one who doesn’t fit this description. I think if he knew more, he would definitely share it with Thomas but since he only arrived a month (I think?) before Thomas he isn’t able to reveal a whole lot of information.
Question 5: The Gladers are willing to go to extreme lengths to keep order in their society, so much that they would rather follow the rules and banish Ben to the Maze and Grievers then jail him and treat him for his lunacy. Discuss why you think that order is so important to the Gladers, and if you think that order and relative normalcy will last for them throughout the book.
Their ability to keep everyone working towards a common goal astounds me. I’m glad you brought this up. I think there was mention that a few of the boys have been there since the beginning so maybe they quickly realized that everyone was going to end up dead if they didn’t establish a leader and some hard-and-fast rules, and since the boys who have been there since the beginning are still in the Maze, they can keep the order, well, in order. It seems that the Creators have been very orderly – sending the same supplies, sending a new boy on the same day every month – so they know they can depend on them. If the Creators didn’t keep a tight schedule, maybe the boys wouldn’t have found themselves running such an orderly ship either.
Here is what others in the groups are saying about The Maze Runner: