Study Guide

The Maze Runner Freedom and Confinement

By James Dashner

Freedom and Confinement

Obviously, all of the kids who find themselves in the Glade have been imprisoned against their will. Some adapted to it readily, thankful for the comfort that comes with knowing there's food to eat, a warm place to sleep, and protection from things that want to kill them. Others rail against it every chance they get (oh, hey there, Thomas). Either way, one of the themes that flows through this narrative like a softly undulating current is that of being a captive and how it affects the Gladers. Is it better to stay somewhere where the dangers are known, but you are quite literally stuck? Or is it better to escape into the unknown and take your chances?

Questions About Freedom and Confinement

  1. Would their captivity be easier to swallow if they had done something that merited imprisonment?
  2. Were the walls more important for what they symbolize? Or was their physical presence enough?
  3. How do the kid's views on confinement alter after they've been through the Changing?
  4. When they finally achieve freedom at the end, are they really freer than they were in the Glade?

Chew on This

The boys would have been better off if they had stayed imprisoned in the Glade.

The boys are better off out in the Flare, merely because being free is always better than being in prison.