How does Thomas develop throughout The Maze Runner, and what are some quotes that support and show this?

Throughout The Maze Runner, Thomas develops from an ignorant newcomer with almost no memories into a loyal friend and courageous leader. Because his natural curiosity was not wiped out with his memories, Thomas relentlessly tries to learn why the teenagers were sent to the Glade and what catastrophe occurred in outside. By becoming a Runner and suffering to recover some memories, he helps the group leave the Maze but grieves for those who died trying to escape.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

During the course of The Maze Runner, Thomas grows as an individual and develops relationships within the difficult social situation into which he is thrust. At the outset, it is clear that Thomas’s memories of his personal life have almost vanished. He strives constantly to remember that prior life...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

During the course of The Maze Runner, Thomas grows as an individual and develops relationships within the difficult social situation into which he is thrust. At the outset, it is clear that Thomas’s memories of his personal life have almost vanished. He strives constantly to remember that prior life and to make sense of the confusing new environment that he shares with the other adolescents confined to the Glade and the Maze around it.

From being a newcomer, Thomas develops close friendships and soon takes on a leadership role. He shows courage and tries to help his comrades even when it can get him into trouble. As Thomas becomes increasingly fearless, he chooses to become a Runner. His courage is shown when he endures a Griever’s sting as a method to recover a key memory—one that turns out to be essential to their escape. Although many of the children escape, others pay with their lives. Thomas feels the emotional pain of grief for those who perished in the escape and helped save his life.

Among the other captive children he befriends, Theresa is especially important. Thomas’s growing empathy is shown when she is jailed and he realizes he is powerless to help her. He even contemplates stealing the keys to the cell and letting her out:

[H]e didn’t want to leave. He almost wished he could get thrown in the Slammer with her …

Thomas felt an incredible sadness. He wanted to steal Newt’s keys and help her escape.

Thomas’s growth is also shown by his willingness to take dangerous actions despite his fear. He promises the others to get them home. Before he becomes a Runner, he accompanies Minho and the other Runners for an expanded exploration of the Maze. As they prepare to depart, he tries to conquer his nerves:

Butterflies swarmed in his gut, and he just wanted to move, to quit thinking about it. After all, going out in the Maze was no worse than staying in the Glade with open doors …

A sudden urge gripped him. “Don’t forget my promise!” he yelled. “I’ll get you home!”

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on