Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Death Cure Part 1: Even the Title Makes Me Nervous

Are you ready, kids? No, it's not Spongebob. It's time for book 3 of The Maze Runner series. The most ominously titled book I have ever read. The Death Cure. Let's do this.

Chapters 1-4

At the beginning of the book, Thomas is still trapped in the completely white room that he was put in at the end of The Scorch Trial. He had been in the room for three weeks. They never turn out the lights and there is nothing in the room except for a desk and a small toilet. Thomas sleeps curled up in the corner. He gets three meals a day, but they don't come at regular intervals and they are always the exact same thing. He has no way to actually tell how long he's been in the room except for instinct. Also, he hasn't had a shower since he was on the Berg leaving the Scorch, so he's pretty gross. In fact, the first line of the book is, "It was the smell that began to drive Thomas slightly mad." So there's that.

In Chapter 2, Rat-Man (the guy who told the Gladers about the Scorch Trial at the beginning of the last book) enters the room. Thomas is naturally hostile. There's a bit of verbal back-and-forth, with Thomas being antagonistic and Rat-Man being condescending. At the beginning, Rat Man gets really agitated and angry after Thomas questions his motives (I've included the passage below). Eventually, Rat-Man gets down to business. He tells Thomas that there is "no value in keeping you in the dark... Not anymore." This means that WICKED is going to start revealing important information to him and the Gladers (thank the gods for that). Rat-Man goes on to explain that they almost have all of the data they need in order to produce a cure for the Flare. There are only a few additional things, like fine-tuning that they need. They need the Gladers' input for this. He then tells Thomas that he does, in fact, have the Flare. But, here's the kicker, he is immune to it.

Rat-Man then tells Thomas that many of the Gladers (not all of them) are immune to the Flare. Some are not immune because the Creators and WICKED needs a control group. Also people with the immunity are called Munies by those on the outside of WICKED and they are despised. This is all starting to feel familiar to Thomas. He understands and thinks he remembers this to be true from before he had his memories removed. Rat-Man explains that everything that has happened was done in order to map the Variables of the killzone. Rat-Man tells him that the 'killzone' is the brain. They call it that because the Flare lives in the brain.
Rat Man is not at all pleased by Thomas's hostility.
He then takes Thomas to get showered and change he clothes into something less disgusting.

Thomas showers and changes, starts to feel human again. Then Rat-Man comes back. He tells Thomas that he is going to be reunited with the others. He says that they have all been through their own "phase 3s," like Thomas and his white cell. He says that they needed to add phase 3 to the original plan because they needs to work out some additional Variables that hadn't been mapped in the Scorch, which was phase 2.

Thomas is taken to an auditorium. Then something weird happens. He is actually reunited with the Gladers and Group B. It wasn't a lie. The others Gladers are happy to see Thomas. Minho and Newt approach him to shake hands and do some dude stuff that isn't hugging for some reason. They seem different, like they've been through something tough in their own phase 3s. Thomas doesn't ask, though. He scans the room looking for Brenda. She isn't there and neither is Jorge. He then spots Teresa and approaches her. He still doesn't trust her, though. She takes his hand and he pulls it away from her. He decides he can only trust Minho and Newt. I'm exciting to finally be able to talk about Newt. He had a very small role in the Scorch Trials and it made me sad. He's a pretty nifty guy.

Rat-Man then sits everyone down. He tells them, "We've got a few things to cover before we remove the Swipe." Everyone is the room gets still. He continues, "That's right, ladies and gents. You're about to get your memories back. Every last one of them."


Remember a really long time ago when we discussed the role of darkness in The Scorch Trial? Well, the opposite is happening here. Thomas is trapped in a completely white room where the light never turns off.
I have a feeling this is about to get real interesting
When we consider that the light represents knowledge, this is interesting because everything about the room makes Thomas uncomfortable. He is trapped, completely enveloped in the light of knowledge. This is a bit of foreshadowing that reveals that the information that Thomas is going to be presented with isn't going to make anything better. It is simply going to be a new kind of misery. Being informed about the situation isn't going to improve his life any, it's only going to make it slightly different. This little detail is showing that, just because things are going to change, doesn't mean they're going to get better.

That's all for now, brothers and sisters. Until next week, happy reading.

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