It kind of goes without saying that when your memory is erased, so is your sense of identity. All of our characters struggle with the question of who they really are, where they come from, what exactly is a Lady Gaga, and above all: why do they deserve to be in the situation in which they find themselves? Although it's a given that most of the boys in the Glade have dealt with this identity crisis (at least enough to not want to dwell on it overmuch), we mostly see Thomas's anguished deliberations. By the end of the book we've only begun to scratch at the surface of who Thomas is and what makes him tick, but his mission to forge his own identity is a large focus of the story.
Questions About Identity
- Why is having a sense of identity so important? Does the lack of it hinder the Glade's inhabitants in their quest?
- Other than Thomas, who is obviously distraught by their lack of identity, who else struggles the most with this problem?
- What do you think is more important to Thomas: knowing who he was before the Glade, or discovering who he is while he's there?
- Does their quest to discover who they are get in the way of pondering other important questions?
Chew on This
Thomas cares the most about discovering himself and who he was before the Glade.
Alby is the one who cares the most about who Thomas is/was. (Seriously, dude—get a hobby.)