Study Guide

The Maze Runner Chapter 1

By James Dashner

Chapter 1

  • Our protagonist wakes up in a metal box that seems to be moving. Dontcha hate it when that happens?
  • He figures out that it's probably an elevator. (Phew, that's a relief. It could've been something far more nefarious.)
  • We find out that his name is Thomas… But that's all that he can remember about his life. He can picture things like snow falling, eating a hamburger, or swimming in a lake, but he can't remember his family, or even where he came from.
  • After what feels like hours but is really only about thirty minutes, the elevator stops dead. Angry that he has no idea what's going on, Thomas screams "Someone…help…me!" (1.15).
  • The elevator opens from the ceiling, and he hears a bunch of boys saying weird things—almost taunting him. What a friendly welcome.
  • When his eyes adjust to the light, Thomas realizes that all the voices belong to boys—a group of teenage boys to be exact.
  • The boys lower a rope for him, and he gets pulled up out of the dark box. Understandably, Thomas is pretty scared. Vurp-level scared (you know, a vurp: when you feel like you're gonna burp but a little bit of puke hits the back of your throat instead).
  • As they're hauling him out, a boy says "Nice to meet ya, shank […] Welcome to the Glade." Cue tympani drums and majestic orchestral music while the opening credits roll.