Study Guide

The Maze Runner Memory

By James Dashner

Memory

If you think about it, memories are a pretty big deal. If breath in our lungs lets us know we're alive, then memories let us know who is alive. They're kind of defining, right? Think about it this way: take those memories away, and what do you have left? What is life without the past? For our protagonists, memory is a source of neverending frustration and mystery. They can remember things like hamburgers and springtime, but they can't remember why they have those memories. In fact, all they can remember is their names, but even that turns out to be false information. So how do they construct their sense of identity in a place with a faceless past? What can they draw upon in order to solve the problem of the Maze?

Questions About Memory

  1. Who seems the most troubled about their lack of memory? Is it Chuck, who wonders about a Mom he left behind? Thomas, who can't fight the feeling of familiarity without understanding where it comes from? Gally, whose Changing experience left him with glimpses of his past?
  2. If their memories had been left intact, would their struggle to escape the Maze still be as urgent? Or would they have shrugged and been like, "Well, at least it's not the Flare" while flipping the bird to the beetle blades?
  3. Teresa, for some reason, is left with more memories than the boys were able to retain. Why does this make her an automatic scapegoat? Why don't they use her to their advantage rather than lock her in the Slammer?

Chew on This

The Creators's decision to erase their memories had a functional purposeā€”the experiment wouldn't have worked on them if they could remember why they were there.

The Creators's decision to erase their memories was merely another moment of random sadism to throw into the mix as a variable.