The ethics of Thomas in the book the maze runner

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In ‘The Maze Runner,’ the character Thomas is presented as curious but fairly uncomplicated, quiet but doing his own thing and going his own way quite subtly but innocently. He has his own sense of ethics, his own inner ‘moral compass’ to guide him. He is also persistent, almost dogged, in his pursuit of answers and he doesn’t give up so he exhibits the character trait of perseverance. He is honest and direct when trying to make sense of his surroundings:

‘all I want is some help.’

This persistence can come across as constant moaning however, and we see his confusion when his curiosity is not addressed. The Maze is an enigma to him - a puzzle he has almost become obsessed by - and he develops a one track mind about it. He simply has to become a runner so he can satisfy his curiosity and solve the riddle. As readers we empathise with him, feeling his shock and loneliness at suddenly being in a weird new world - and also feel his frustration as he tries to make sense of it. In order to do this - and make his mind up for himself - he becomes a bit of a ‘doubting Thomas’ reminding us of the disciple in the Bible who tested everything, even the statements Jesus made. Thomas doesn’t take answers at face value, he tries them out. He is also a creative thinker and he doesn’t allow set ways of thinking to cramp his style - he sees the whole picture instead of being hide-bound by rules and boundaries. His own sense of ethics directs him to follow his inner compass and to do the right thing instead of following the example of the other boys. Sometimes he finds this difficult and we discover that he is brave and can hold his nerve to stare out another boy. Then there are other little conquests, until subtly - through his own brand of ethics in seeking the truth - Thomas emerges as the leader.

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