It’s time for Part 2 of my Read Along with James Dashner. If you still want to join us, it’s not too late! There are details on my Read-Along page and you can see a list of participants on the hub page along with links to their posts. This section was Chapters 10-19 so if you haven’t read the book, beware of spoilers!
Question from Barb: Thomas has seen two Beetle Blades with the word “Wicked” written on the side. One was in the forest right before Ben tries to kill him and one was while he and Alby are hiding in the vines of the wall. Thomas thinks the Beetle Blades are wicked, but perhaps the Beetle Blades are warning Thomas of impending evil (Ben and the Griever). Do you think the Beetle Blades are trying to help Thomas?
I love this thought. It seems strange that they seem to come in time to warn him of impending danger and I suspect this will be cleared up for us in the coming chapters, but for now I do think they are trying to warn Thomas of impending evil. I feel like he’s somehow chosen by the Creators and the Beetle Blades might be their way of communicating with him to try to keep him safe while in the maze.
Question from Ashlee: Did the Creators throw a girl into the mix just to see how the boys would respond? Or do you think she has another purpose for being there?
I suspect that the girl was sent there to communicate a message. I wonder if she got in a fight with the Creators and put herself in the box, which could be against protocol because of her gender and explain why she remembers Thomas. There might be some sort of war going on that she escaped or there might be some ‘memory wiping’ portion of the box that brings her in which caused her unconsciousness. I think it’s a coincidence she’s a girl and the message she has to communicate is more important.
Question from Nicole: On page 85, they discover the dead Griever. What importance is the death of the Griever? They seem to make it a huge deal and I’m not sure why. They stay outside of the Glades, so I’m not entirely sure what the big fuss is about. Also… what significance is their name to the story or to the maze?
I suspect the boys would like to be able to study the Griever’s body and perhaps find a way to defeat them. The best way to defeat your enemy is to study him. I think the Grievers are seen as an enemy because they prevent the boys from finding the exit to the maze that they are so certain is there. They’re someone to be conquered to insure the boys own freedom. I think the name comes from the fact that the boys ‘grieve’ the deaths of the Runners trying to beat them. It seems a stretch, but it’s all I can come up with.
Question from Katherine: Ben’s rants against Thomas were pretty interesting. I expected him to be worried that Thomas would destroy them or betray them or something — but instead he was upset that “He’ll wanna take us home…He’ll wanna get us out of the Maze.” All Thomas’s memories of the outside world seem to be “normal” memories…but could there be something terrible (personal or widespread) that would keep the boys from WANTING to ever get out of the Maze? Or did the Changing just poison Ben’s mind to think that?
Wow. Never thought of that. Yay virtual book clubs for making me think more. This is taking me back to my Allegiant comparison and makes me think the boys are trying to figure out some part of humanity that has been lost, like genetic impurity. It’s possible that ‘home is so messed up that these boys have to figure out a way to overcome the difficulty that’s been created. Now I’m really curious to find out the ending!
Question from Lynn: 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?
The only character I was growing attached to in any way was Alby, and it’s not looking too good for him! I feel like Chuck is trying too hard to act older than he is. We’re told that he’s young and I think he wants so badly to be Thomas’s age and feel important that he’s acting out to try to make himself seem important. I don’t know if I trust him because his whole personality seems like a facade. We’ll have to see going forward.
Question from Sultana: On page 102, Newt talks to Thomas about the importance of order in the Gladers’ society, saying ” ‘Reason we’re all sane around here is ’cause we work our butts off and maintain order. Order’s the reason we put Ben out–can’t very well have loonies runnin’ around tryin’ to kill people, now can we? Order.’ ” 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.
I think that in a primitive society, there’s not enough resources to secure a jail system. It requires more resources to keep someone jailed and threat them for a chronic illness, so it’s easier for the boys to banish him and free those resources to search farm or look for an escape from the maze. I don’t think they’ve considered it much beyond this. I think order is important because they have no way to control their fates outside the maze so they want to control them inside as much as possible. In the small society, they need to make sure everyone is pulling his own weight to continue surviving. I’m not sure the order will last for them because I think for there to be a plot, there needs to be some disturbance in the story. I’m curious to see how much it’s disrupted.
Please send me an email if you’re interested in joining us. The hub page will have links to all the other posts.
Until next time, write on.