Thomas, a boy whose memory was erased, thrown into an uncharted maze with no way of escaping he is forced to trust is wits to lead the many other shanks who were trapped with him. Each day he runs into the maze in the hopes of graphing out the maze and escape this horrendous prison as he is the protagonist in this thrilling novel, The Maze Runner authored by James Dashner. Thomas and others are forced to survive in this desolate land called the Glade, they have no way of communication and no contact with the outside world, other than the beetles with the work WICKED splattered on them. The Maze Runner contains many substantial themes but the three most important themes in this novel are bravery, persistence, and finally, friendship.
One of the most recurring themes in this exhilarating novel is bravery. This theme was displayed many times by all of the protagonists in this tome. Thomas and the others need bravery in order to escape this intricate and convoluted labyrinth, it is an absolute necessity for survival. Each protagonist showed bravery while either trying to save others or to escape this labyrinthine maze. During the first few days in the glade, Thomas jeopardized his life to dash headfirst into the maze, a split second before it closed, and by doing so, he saved Alby’s and Minho’s lives. “Thomas knew he had no choice. He moved. Forward. He squeezed past the connecting rods at the last second and stepped into the maze.” (Dashner, 173) “But plenty of people told him what it’s like in the Maze, especially at night. And he still stepped out there, just as the Door was closing, only caring that two people needed help.” (242) “Thomas, when he should’ve been wettin’ his pants, took control, defied all laws of physics and gravity to get Alby up onto that wall, diverted the Grievers away from him, beat one off.” (242) Bravery was a theme that was displayed in almost all of the chapters in this book as none of the Gladers would have escaped without bravery.
Persistence is another theme that is equally as consequential as bravery. The theme of persistence is portrayed in many of the Gladers and it is what kept the Gladers alive for such a long period of time. Each day, the runners had to display persistence by running out into the Maze and sketching out maps routinely even though many thought this was completely useless. As Thomas, Minho, and Alby were out in the Maze, Minho had given up all hope of surviving, but Thomas was resolute and recalcitrant, he was determined to save Alby by using vines to pull him up the wall. He distracted the grievers towards himself to save Alby, he just would not give up. Even when the veteran Minho, who had been a runner for two years, gave up, Thomas was still persistent. “Thomas was annoyed at Minho’s constant negativity. “Oh come on-there has to be something we can do.” (176) ““Maybe,” Minho answered calmly, “but we can’t miss a day out there. Not now.” (407) and at the epilogue, even the creators of the Maze admitted that all of the survivors were extremely persistent. “Honestly, I’m amazed that in the end, despite everything, we were able to collect such a large population of kids that just never gave up.” (542) Persistence was one of the most important themes in this book, the many events showed just how important being persistent is.
Friendship is the last significant and momentous theme in The Maze Runner. The theme of friendship is demonstrated on Thomas’s first day at the Glade when he meets Chuck. Each and every day the friendship between Thomas and the other Gladers is what keeps them somewhat lively as life as Glader would grow significantly gloomier and solitary without friendship. Each day friendship is displayed through talking, running through the mazes, and just everyday routines. Friendship has saved many lives including Alby’s, Minho’s, many Gladers, and even Thomas. “He couldn’t leave a friend to die. Even someone as cranky as Alby.” (184) Even though Thomas and Alby had only just become friends, Thomas is willing to risk his life to save Alby, showing the significance of friendship. “Then, inexplicably, Chuck was there, diving in front of him. Thomas felt as if his feet had been frozen in blocks of ice; he could only stare at the scene of horror unfolding before him, completely helpless.” (518) Just as Thomas was about to get impaled and death seemed imminent, the friendship between him and Chuck saved him. Chuck knew that his friend was in great danger and jumped in front him to save his friend. Friendship was the one thing that kept many of the Gladers alive and it stopped most of the Gladers from becoming isolated. Friendship is what saved lives in the Maze.
The Maze Runner is very similar to the 1954 novel The Lord of the Flies authored by William Golding. Both novels share common themes with each other. Both these novels share the themes, bravery, persistence, and friendship. In The Lord of the Flies, the children are brave to try and locate a beast just to placate the little children, the children are also extremely persistent in trying to get rescued as Ralph, the leader of the children, reinstate the plan to get rescued routinely, the friendship between Ralph and Piggy is extremely similar to Thomas and Chuck’s. Piggy dies while trying and restore order on the island and Chuck dies while attempting to restore order to the world. In The Lord of the Flies, children are forced to govern themselves in an attempt to survive and in The Maze Runner, teenagers are forced to govern themselves, with also no adults, in an attempt to survive. The Maze Runner demonstrates three important and recurring themes that greatly impacted the lives of the Gladers, the importance of bravery, persistence, and finally, friendship.