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The Maze Runner: Hero's Journey

Bryan Chen, Andriel Dizon Final

Andriel Dizon

on 16 June 2014

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Transcript of The Maze Runner: Hero's Journey

Thomas: The main character and protagonist of the story is Thomas. The initiate as well, he finds himself facing his internal conscience looking for an answer of who he is and battles never before seen creatures. Thomas has changed his perspective and has changed mentally is a dynamic character.
Minho: Minho is the keeper of the runners. He is given the opportunity to help and train Thomas to become a runner of the maze. Being Thomas's mentor/helper in Thomas’s journey, Minho goes through many troubles as well but gives words of wisdom to Thomas. Though he is a helper and mentor of Thomas, in some events he acts as a threshold guardian, for his opposition of Thomas going to the field of adventure and danger.
Alby and Newt: Alby and Newt are subordinate and flat characters in this novel as the play a huge role but are not the initiate. Alby and Newt are the leaders of the Gladers who help guide and maintain order. Later on, Alby and Newt become the helpers of the hero
Character List
In the adventurous novel by James Dashner, a teenage boy with no apparent memory, wakes up in a strange box that led him to an unknown place. Thomas as he calls himself later learns that he is in another realm, known as The Glade, with boys that call themselves; The Gladers. Thomas and the Gladers are at a place that is excluded from the outside world; it has different sections that follow a system and the way of escape is a gargantuan maze. Stuck in desperation to get out of this dystopian world, Thomas and the Gladers try to find a way to escape through the maze. Along the way, Thomas befriends a boy named Chuck, and finds himself trainers and mentors named Alby, Newt, and Minho. Together they face obstacles, creatures, and the maze itself. Through all the conflicts and troubles, Thomas finds his inner hero, courage, and perseverance. Thomas expresses the idea of staying positive through hard times and maintaining tranquility when things go bad for the Gladers. Dashner does a thorough job of incorporating literary elements such as irony, foreshadowing, and ambiguity having readers guessing what’s going to happen next. Following the hero’s journey, can Thomas save himself and his fellow Gladers? The novel has many plot twists and conflicts that would have readers guessing.

The Maze Runner
by: James Dashner

Chuck: A round character literally and figuratively Chuck is also a helper of Thomas but later proves to be more than that. He became like a brother to Thomas. Although he was annoying and rude, Thomas cared deeply about Chuck and Chuck was always there to comfort Thomas from his emotional wounds.
Gally: Gally is a static character and a threshold guardian. He remains constant in his belief to hurt Thomas; he tries to prevent Thomas from succeeding into the field of adventure.
Gladers: The citizens of the small prison-like place are a big role as well. They are the motivation to help escape the Glades. Just like Thomas, they were erased of memory and have gone through what Thomas has gone through. Being helpers and threshold guardians, the Gladers were a huge impact on Thomas’s hero journey.
Grievers: Static characters in the story as this half robot- half animal monster have no emotion. These creatures are controlled and with only one or two descriptions Dashner makes them seem life-like. They have one objective, that is to kill or sting the Gladers.
Character List
Call to Adventure
Thomas first woke up in the box where he had began his new life. Without his memory erased, he knew at that moment everything was going to change. Confused and scared, that marked the beginning of Thomas's journey.
Refusal of the Call
At first, Thomas was in denial that he is now a Glader. He suffered a sense of inadequacy. Thomas was unwilling to adapting to the new world he is in.
Thomas had Helpers/Mentors through his journey.
his trainer to become a runner,
his closest friend,
, and
as his guide to his theory of deciphering the impossible maze helped in his transformation
The Crossing of the First Threshold
In the last phase of Thomas’s separation the crossing of the first threshold was when Thomas first stepped into the maze to try to save Alby and Minho. Despite Newt's warning, the number one, and most important rule of the Glade, to not step into the maze (if you're not a runner), Thomas still went inside to help the two boys.
Threshold Guardians
The threshold guardian, Newt, tried to prevent Thomas from crossing into the field of adventure (maze) but failed. Later Newt and the Gladers learn that Thomas saved the life of their leader, Alby.
Supernatural Aid
Supernatural aid is present when later in his journey. Thomas had voices guiding him and later learns the use of telepathy.
The Road of Trials, Tests, & Temptations
the first stage of his initiation phase was when Thomas had to find himself a job at the Glade. He had failed at the task of slaughtering pigs and farming. Though, later on, he underwent tasks of mapping and maze running to get where he is at.
The Belly of the Whale/ Abyss & Transformation
Thomas had a near death experience with Minho and Alby in the maze. After defeating incoming Grievers that attempted to kill all of them, Thomas underwent his transformation. After emotional instability in the maze, Thomas had found his “new” self. His old cry baby ways had become a more mature and risk taking attitude after his death experience inside the maze.
The Meeting with the Goddess
After his transformation has occurred, he passes the phase of the meeting of the Goddess. Thomas finds a love that is powerful and his love that he gains had a significant effect that Campbell portrays. Although this “love” is signifies Thomas’s transformation, revealing such information would ruin the story and reveal too much details
Nearing the end of Thomas’s transformation phase, his atonement with his telepathic partner reveals things that he could do that he did not know before. The center point in his journey, the atonement, aided in fighting creatures and his opposing forces.
The Ultimate Boon (Gift)
The last gift he receives is his new self. His purification in this step supplied him with confidence and hope for The Gladers. His perseverance lead him to solve the maze and escape with the Gladers.

Refusal of the Return
Rescue from Without / The Crossing of the Threshold
Rescue from without was also present in Thomas’s return to the other realm. He has been wounded of this experience emotionally and physically. As Campbell explains the concept of the crossing of the return threshold, Thomas had figured out a way to share his knowledge and wisdom of what he had learned throughout the quest to the Gladers and humans. Though this step is usually difficult, Thomas did not have trouble doing the explaining.
Master of Two Worlds / Freedom to Live
Thomas has gained independence along with some od the Gladers. His spiritual balance between the Glade and regular world achieved him freedom. Thomas has officially completed his hero’s journey. He achieves freedom to live when he in the bus with adults who saved him from the creators of the maze.

Ending Thomas’s journey, he had a slight refusal of return in feeling of sympathy for the Gladers. Though he had succeeded in his quest of escaping the maze, he could not bring everyone and that moment he wanted to sacrifice his own life to save the rest.
“'Don’t it Tommy! Don’t bloody do it!'…Thomas knew he had no choice. He moved. Forward. He squeezed past the connecting rods at the last second and stepped into the maze. The walls slammed shut behind him, the echo of its boom bouncing off the ivy-covered stone like mad laughter” (Dashner 112).
This quote at the end of chapter 16 reveals an important aspect of Thomas’s separation. The separation which contains the call helpers/mentors, and the threshold, is revealed when Thomas decides to step into the threshold in which now his journey begins. The call was revealed once he had stepped inside the maze and he knew at that moment everything was going to change for him and his friends. Thomas refused listening to other people, his threshold guardians, and continued to jump into the maze which was filled with danger. Venturing into this unknown realm has triggered the separation and departure of Thomas’s hero’s journey. Leaving his known limits Thomas has just begun the separation stage.


“Thomas quickly scrambled to the edge of the abyss, poking his head over to see the falling Grievers… His last ounce of strength had disappeared and he curled into a ball on the ground. Then finally came the tears” (Dashner 138).
In this quote, Dashner expresses Thomas’s initiation phase of his journey. The initiation featuring only the present stages included the road of trials temptations, transformation, atonement and the ultimate boon. The quote reveals most of the initiations that Thomas goes through are his temptations, the Grievers, and his rebirth. After Thomas defeated the creatures that were in his way, he curled up into a ball and bawled his eyes out. In this act of mournfulness mixed with fear, Thomas had transformed into someone new. He was just once a regular boy and now he was fighting for his life. His old self was “killed” and the”new” Thomas has risen. The atonement he goes through his spirits inside of him follows Campbell’s hero’s journey. The final phase of Thomas’s transformation was the ultimate Boon. The gift Thomas receives was knowledge of the maze, and survivors whom he had rescued.


“'She’s right Chuck-you saved us man! I told you we needed you!’…too many, Thomas thought. Too many by far. His joy dribbled away, turned into mourned for the twenty people who’d lost there lives” (Dashner 347,348).
The return which included refusal of return rescue without crossing of the return threshold masters of two worlds and the freedom to live, were all present in the final phase of Thomas’s journey. Thomas revealed his refusal of return after discovering that twenty Gladers did make it to their freedom. Following the rescue from without, Chuck aided Thomas and some Gladers to their rescue revealing that hero’s need guides and assistants to bring them back to their normal lives. And with the returning, Thomas has gained the wisdom and knowledge to tell others what he has done. The last phases that complete Campbell’s hero’s journey concept was Thomas mastering the two worlds where he had conquered the realm spiritually and physically of the maze and the normal world where he had returned, and freedom to live. Thomas has now conquered his quest and now has the time to live though he is not anticipating his future.

Passages and Responses
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games can be connected to The Maze Runner because both the novel's main goal is trying to escape from an unknown world.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
In this novel, Huck and Tom Sawyer go through a series of events that follow Campbell's Hero's Journey. Huck goes through his transformation in the wilderness and follows the rest of the journey.
Julius Caesar
A relation to The Maze Runner is Cassius being a helper to Brutus as he goes through the Hero's Journey and "fights" for the people Rome.
The Maze Runner
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