Study Guide

The Kill Order Suffering

By James Dashner

Suffering

A real smile. Something that was finally becoming a little more commonplace after the year of death and terror that had chased them… (1.9)

These people have gone through so much that even a smile—yes, a smile—is a rare occurrence. Imagine that. A smile.

The truth was kind of depressing—even to joke about—and a dark cloud was forming over his head. (2.6)

Sometimes a good way to get over sadness caused by suffering is to joke about it, but obviously this doesn't exactly work with Mark. In fact, it makes him feel sick to his stomach.

After the year he'd just been through, he'd been taught many times over to never get his hopes up. (3.10)

Sound like someone we know? That's right, this is an exact thought that Thomas has as he's going through the trials.

Mark was horrified. He shouldn't have been—he'd seen more dead people in the last year than a hundred morticians of the past would have seen in a lifetime. But it was shocking all the same. (10.17)

More dead people in one year than a hundred morticians in their lifetimes: think about that. That's a lot of dead people, and yet Mark never gets used to it. Death is something that will always horrify, making Mark and his friends suffer more than you'd think.

Mark thought he'd never seen someone look so incredibly sad. Even after all the end-of-the-world crap they'd been through. (11.2)

When Trina takes a look at Darnell going crazy, she looks like the saddest of all pandas. It's one thing for your village to get ambushed, but it's another to see one of your best friends go crazy.

Mark's insides plummeted to some dark place and he felt hollow inside. He'd seen so much of terror and death, but looking at his friend suffering alone… it killed Mark. (11.25)

Then the terror of seeing Darnell suffer hits Mark, causing him to suffer. As you can tell, this whole suffering thing works like a chain reaction.

"I'm kind of sick of surviving. At least Darnell is done with this world." (12.4)

Trina's statement here is very worrisome: some characters are so sick of all of the suffering that they just want it to end. Imagine all of the suicides that probably happened after the sun-flares… our guess is that there were a lot. Now that's depressing.

"When will it end? We survive months of the sun beating the tar out of the planet, find a place where we can build shelter, find food. A few days ago we were laughing!" (12.7)

The thoughts of almost everyone, but voiced by Trina. Just when things finally start to go right, everything goes completely wrong. Oh, we've all (sort of) been there.

And he knew if he dreamed it would only get worse. He was scared of being scared. (19.26)

Scared of being scared? Mark is so afraid of his dreams that he's actually scared of falling asleep.

"I came up here to die or go crazy. Both, I guess. I'm just glad they let me." (33.26)

These really are the two options people are given in The Kill Order's setting: die or go crazy. If that ain't suffering, we don't know what is.

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