Summary of Chapters 35-38
When we left off, Thomas and Brenda were sleeping in a truck. During the night, Thomas has one of his
dream/memories. In this one, he and Theresa are eavesdropping on a conversation between some WICKED officials. This takes part before the Maze trial, of course. They are a bit young, Thomas assumes around 14. There is a whole mess of really vague information discussed. The lack of information is really frustrating for both Thomas and the reader (this is intentional on the author's part, not poor writing).
When the pair wake up, Thomas discovers a sign like the ones that were in the maze (the ones with WICKED's full name). These signs, however, say something very different. They name Thomas as the true leader of the Gladers (we assume). Apparently, these signs are everywhere in the city, yet no one saw fit to discuss them before now. It sounds like another WICKED trick to me.
|Well, that's... ominous.|
This is where things start to get rough for the pair again. They hear music coming from the end of the alley where the truck they slept in is. They walk to the dead end, toward the music because they make terrible decisions. Meanwhile, three people (two men and a woman) appear in the alley behind them, so they can't leave. They call Thomas by name, having seen his reaction to the sign on the wall. The three force the pair into the party at gun point. The two are then drugged and wake up taped to chairs under the party because nothing ever goes well for these poor kids.
In the room with Thomas and Brenda are the three people from the alley. The trio are naturally interested in why Thomas's name is everywhere on signs in the city. There is a whole interlude where Thomas tells the whole story of the Glade and how he came to be where he is for about the fourth time in the book. They then hear a kerfuffle happening above, and the three kidnappers go upstairs to investigate. The noise from above then ends suddenly.
|Even Nine is happy to see Minho again.|
God, am I ever happy that Minho is back. Thomas is finally going to be in contact with the other Gladers again. This is, hopefully, a really good thing for him.
As for analysis, there is one important thing that needs to be discussed. The way information is release in this book is really interesting, if really frustrating. There is an incredibly amount of vague, but important information that is hinted at. Nothing is ever revealed to anyone until it is absolutely necessary. In this way, the author, James Dashner, is to the readers what WICKED is to the Gladers. He is withholding information to gauge and control reactions. I'm not saying he's evil (not outright anyway), but we don't know if WICKED is evil, either. We assume they are because they experiment on children, are generally assholes, and named themselves WICKED, for Christ's sake. But we honestly have very little idea what they are up to.
By thinking of Dashner as WICKED, it puts the reader in the place of the Gladers. This is another way in which the bond between Thomas and the reader is paralleled. We are linked together by our mutual drive for answers. We all keep going because we have come too far to give up before knowing exactly what the fuck is going on. In this way, the book itself is a trial for the readers.
That's it for now, brothers and sisters. Leave your thoughts in the comments, if you are so inclined. I'd like to know what you all think. I'd also be interested to know if anyone is reading along.
Until next week, happy reading.