Study Guide

Newt in The Maze Runner

By James Dashner

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Behind Every Great Leader is a… Teenage Boy

Alby's second-in-command is one of those always-there-at-the-right-time-with-a-one-liner-and-a-slap-on-the-shoulder guys. Of mysterious origins (but let's face it, based on his liberal usage of the term "bloody," probably from the UK), Newt brings a light-heartedness to the group that counteracts dour old Alby. Although he's willing and able to take on the serious side of leadership, Newt manages to face challenges with a twinkle in his eye and a joke on the edge of his tongue.

When Alby checks out toward the end of our story, Newt is thrust into a leadership position while things seem to be falling apart around him. Instead of whining about it, which would be totally justified if you ask us, he takes on the role with aplomb. Heeding Alby's cryptic warning to protect the Maps, Newt secretly gets Minho to transport them into hiding while replacing them with decoys, which saves the day when Alby ends up setting fire to the Map Room. Newt's also the one to recruit and gather everyone who is going to attempt the escape. When the time comes, he's the one making the big battle speech and getting everyone rallied in order for the escape to be successful. He's everything you could ask for in a post-apocalyptic dystopia.

Leap of Faith

What really sets Newt apart from Alby is that he's the first person in a leadership role who believes in Thomas. He sees the distrust from the kids who've gone through the Changing and readily admits that there's got to be something "off" about Thomas, but he's willing to give him a chance. He's the ultimate innocent-until-proven-guilty judge of character. It's pretty refreshing when it seems like everyone else is quick to persecute Thomas over hunches and feelings.
Without this faith in Thomas's ability they never would have found the way to escape the Glade. Not that we know that's a good move on their behalf. We'll just have to wait and read the sequel.

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