Study Guide

The Scorch Trials Fear

By James Dashner

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Chapter 3

Thomas had lived in fear and terror the past few weeks, but this was almost too much. (3.3)

Ha, and you thought the Maze was pretty bad? Well, the Scorch Trials are even worse: not only do the Gladers have to deal with Cranks and bad weather, but Thomas is also separated from Teresa. What's he going to do without her?

Chapter 13

Fear surely gripped them as much as it did him. They'd been through the Maze and its horrors. They'd seen up close what WICKED was capable of doing. (13.3)

Remember, Thomas isn't the only one who is scared out of jammy-jams. We might only get his perspective, but the other Gladers (you know, the ones we would probably be if we were in this book) are probably even more scared. With good reason, too—they're not main characters, so they're way more likely to buy the farm before the book ends.

Chapter 14

He ran forward on instinct, pushing past several Gladers who seemed frozen by fear, moving toward the inhuman sounds. (14.61)

When you're afraid of something—say a creepy noise or sound—the first thing you do shouldn't be to run toward it. But if you know Thomas well, you'll know that he just runs towards trouble. Does that make him brave? Stupid?

Chapter 16

Thomas exchanged glances with Newt, who returned a look that had a little fear in it but was mostly full of curiosity. (16.35)

Curiosity is often related to fear: many things we fear are unknown, which is why we fear them. But if we don't know exactly what this fear is, of course we're going to be a little curious as to what it is.

Chapter 23

He wanted his memory block finally cracked for good... But that desire was tempered by fear of what he might find out about himself. (23.9)

Another reason why Thomas is so mentally torn is that he fears how he played a part in the Maze construction. Not knowing your past is one thing, but being afraid of what happened in the past is another thing.

Chapter 26

He thought he'd gotten used to the fear of having the disease, but with this Crank standing right in front of him, he was more scared than ever. (26.10)

"It's easier said than done" is a pretty good phrase to illustrate this moment. It's a lot easier to get over the fear of having a disease when you don't know what it looks like, but when it's staring you in the face, that'll resurrect some demons.

Chapter 59

The image of Chuck taking that knife for him popped into his head. And that did it. Snapped him out of those nanoseconds of frozen doubt and fear. (59.10)

The fear of dying looms in all of the Gladers' minds, but Chuck's death actually helps Thomas overcome his fear of death. In a way, it was a form of desensitization.

Chapter 61

Maybe for the first time since entering the Glade weeks earlier, Thomas felt no fear. He didn't know if he'd ever feel it again. (61.9)

Unfortunately, that's wishful thinking. Fear affects everyone, no matter how much they've been exposed to it before. Thomas will find this out soon enough.

No more fear. No more shock. No more questioning. Take what comes. Play along. Pass the tests. Pass the Trials. (61.33)

The best way to block out fear, for Thomas, is action. Focusing on something, like passing the Trials, is a good way for Thomas and the Gladers to avoid letting their fear take over.

Chapter 64

For the first time, Thomas realized the voice wasn't quite right... Fear had crept into his gut. A horrible, sickening, toxic fear. (64.11)

Ever felt like your stomach just did a flip? That's what Thomas is feeling right about now. There's no way to avoid fear completely—it's a normal reaction, and it serves a purpose. The question is knowing how to deal with it.

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