and ramblings on everything in between
You can also view the group’s hub on Sam’s Taking on a World of Words blog by clicking here.
Chapters 20 – 29
Question #1 from Sultana: Did anyone else find it quite weird that the girl, who we now know is called Teresa, was able to speak to Thomas in their minds? Can we even be really sure that it was her speaking to him? And if so, how would this form of mind communication even begin to work?
After Alby claims that someone else forced him to choke and almost kill himself, I’m inclined to believe that the Creators have something to do with what Teresa and Thomas are able to say to each other through their minds. It seems that these two know more about the Glade/Maze than the other boys do and I think it’s strange that the Creators would give them a chance to help the others crack the code. And why can only those two communicate that way? Or now that Thomas realizes it’s possible, will be able to communicate with someone else that way?
Question #2 from Sam: 1. On page 132 (Chapter 20), the Griever’s body is described as ‘gushy.’ This didn’t fit with the image of the Grievers I had until this point. I had pictured them as machines because of the sounds used to describe them but this makes them seem much more alive. To what extent do you think the Grievers are alive and making their own decisions and to what extent do you think they are machines? If they are machines, who controls them?
I envision them as being a machine covered in a thick layer of Jell-o. What a strange way to portray the vicious creatures in the novel! Their description really baffles me and I’m most excited about the movie in September for this reason. How in the heck are they going to tackle that one? We shall soon find out. I imagine that the Grievers are completely controlled by the Creators. Well, maybe not every move like a remote control car, but they are programmed to kill anything moving in the Maze.
Question #3 from Barb: The cliff intrigues me. When the grievers fall off the cliff, their scream is abruptly cut off but the boys don’t see them plummeting to their deaths. This suggests a contrived “cliff” which the Creators use to isolate the boys in the Glade. Violating the laws of physics such as the cliff makes it obvious that this world is not normal. The way the walls move violates the laws of thermodynamics (energy and therefore matter cannot be created or destroyed). Do you think the Creator’s care what the boys think of their world? Do the Creators seem to be hiding the other oddities? The sun rises and sets just like our world.
This is yet another reason why I’m excited for the movie. Sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian novels aren’t my normal reading preference so I’m not used to imagining a crazy world that defies logic and physics, but I think the Cliff was an interesting twist. They can see outside the Maze, and see that it leads to nothing, just the end of their “universe,” so don’t you think they would be discouraged even more? Why keep trying to solve the puzzle when it clearly leads to nowhere?
Question #4 from Nicole: They start talking about the serum in more detail, especially what happens during the “changing.” I started thinking… what if this serum is bad? We know that it brings back memories and that makes them go a little crazy. But is this serum necessary? What is in the Griever’s needles that force them to use the serum?
I think the boys are wrong in thinking that the person has to have the serum or they will die. Alby made it over night without dying, and that seems to be the longest someone has gone before getting the injection. I think that the mere fact that the Creators gave them the serum is what is leading them to believe that they have to use it. Another way to control them, another way to freak them out so they behave a certain way. Those darn Creators! Seem like nasty folks to me.
Question #5 from Katherine: It seems pretty clear that weird stuff is going on in the outside world if somebody bothered to create the Glade/Maze, engineer Grievers, ship people and supplies… etc. I mean, people generally don’t do that stuff if everything’s hunky dory. But Thomas’s memories all seem pretty normal (movie theaters, farms, marathons). Are they fake? Implanted? Thomas himself mentions that maybe the memories revealed by the Changing are actually too horrible to think about…
Perhaps it is a world that was once normal, similar to ours, but something bad has happened. One of the boys mentioned something about ‘the flare.’ What that is exactly, I can’t imagine yet, but it seems like that was a falling out of sorts and perhaps the bad memories the boys see during the Changing are from after that incident. I liked your other question, too, about what exactly Theresa meant when she said ‘we did this to them.’ I’m taking it to mean that they are the ones who created the place – Thomas has revealed that the Maze / Glade feel all too familiar for this to be his first time there – but they’re kids, too. How can kids put a bunch of other kids in a crazy world like that? Clearly they have super powers since they can use their minds to communicate with one another so maybe I’m not giving them enough credit.
Question #6 from Lynn: Thomas is now a runner, which he clearly was keen to become – what impact do you think it will have on the group?
Another reason why Thomas has an X on his back. I think that since he’s somehow responsible for putting the boys there, spending time out in the Maze might jog his memory and help him to solve the puzzle. But when this new kid comes in and breaks the rules, barely gets punished, and then gets to be a Runner no questions asked – I think some kids aren’t going to be happy about that.
Question #7 from Claudia: Let’s say you were given the opportunity to question one character from this story with guaranteed honest answers. Which character would you choose and what questions would you ask?
I trust Minho the most at this point so I would choose him. He seems like a decent and genuine guy that’s just doing his best to get everyone home. I don’t feel like he’s keeping secrets. Well, he’s clearly not telling Thomas everything, but I don’t think it’s in a vindictive way. The other guys seem more cruel to me.