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The Maze Runner is a dystopian novel written by James Dashner. This story takes place in a fictional area called The Glade; next to The Glade is The Maze. Thomas, who has recently joined The Glade, has to work with other members of The Glade in order to solve The Maze and survive the evil creatures called The Grievers. Along the way, Thomas builds many strong relationships with other members of The Glade and begins leading them. The Maze Runner teaches the theme that sometimes companionship and letting others help along the way is the key to success, this lesson is shown during many scenes throughout the book

A detail that shows the theme very explicitly is when Chuck sacrifices himself in order to save Thomas’ impending death. Thomas saw Chuck as a little brother and like it was his responsibility to keep him alive, Thomas was initially was reluctant to bring him along in the journey because he worried about him. Ultimately, he accepted that it would be best for the group to bring him along. The narration during this sequence shows the moment where Gally throws the knife like it was in slow motion. Out of nowhere, Chuck dives in front of Thomas, as if it was his instinct and his number one priority to keep Thomas alive and well. The narrator uses very heavy words to describe Thomas’ emotions right after Chuck’s death, lines such as “Thomas felt as if the world were collapsing around him, crushing his heart…” clearly shows the anguish and heartbreak Thomas is feeling and just how much Chuck meant to him. If it wasn’t for Chuck saving Thomas, the unofficial leader of the Glade, the rest of the book would have ended in a vastly different way, and not for the better.

The text shows that Chuck serves as a motivation to Thomas because of the guilt he felt after not being able to get him out of the Glade alive. That motivation eventually helps the rest of them get out. Thomas is clearly in remorse and immense sadness after Chuck’s death, this next quote shows just how guilty Thomas felt after Chuck’s death “‘’I Promised him!’ he screamed, realizing even as he did so that his voice was laced with something wrong. Almost insanity. ‘I promised I’d save him, take him home! I promised him!’” This quote shows how he feels like he was responsible for his death and how he failed to get him out. After this scene, Thomas acts a lot different in terms of getting out of there, almost as if it was for Chuck. Thomas’ immediate reaction after Chuck’s death was a surge of rage and hostility towards Gally, who was the one that killed Chuck, which shows that Thomas acts through his emotions when thinking about Chuck. An argument you could bring up for this point would be that Chuck’s death held the group back instead of being a motivation. I could see how you might think like that, but I think this quote right here, “Thomas felt no emotion---he was completely numb. He ran down a long hallway, into a dimly lit tunnel.” I think that quote shows how sad Thomas gets when he thinks of Chuck, so he uses the ultimate goal of escape to focus on instead of Chuck.

My final show of evidence is how Thomas goes back to save Minho and Alby from the Maze wall closing, which shows how highly Thomas values them. This is an extremely brave thing, much like Chuck diving in front of Thomas, because both almost meant certain death. The maze is a very dangerous place where people can easily die to The Grievers, and Thomas knew this and was given a chance to easily escape. Instead, of choosing the certain route to safety, he risks his life for the leader of The Glade and his friend Minho. Thomas knows he could easily die from this, and despite him knowing this Thomas goes in, and like Chuck, as if it was his natural instinct. Thomas always seems to put other people safety ahead of his, as shown evident through this quote, “I didn't do anything wrong. All I know is I saw two people struggling to get inside these walls and they couldn't make it. To ignore that because of some stupid rule seemed selfish, cowardly, and...well, stupid. If you want to throw me in jail for trying to save someone's life, then go ahead.” Thomas is clearly a naturally brave and caring person for everyone around him.

Thomas and The Gladers clearly value friendship and companionship as a key part of survival. Through scenes such as Chuck sacrificing himself for Thomas, Thomas using Chuck as a symbol to go on, and Thomas risking his life for Alby and Minho are very important to my claim. I think all these points I brought up were valid and exemplify my thinking of companionship and friendship.

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