Study Guide

The Scorch Trials Manipulation

By James Dashner

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Chapter 4

How could everything be taken away from them so fast? (4.2)

Thoughts like this will soon vanish for the Gladers, as anything is possible with WICKED behind the controls.

Chapter 5

An alarm went off in his head—their brains had been tinkered with before. Had it happened again? Had their memories been altered or wiped? (5.27)

WICKED is actually so manipulative that Thomas begins to believe that they can control the behavioral patters in the Gladers' brains. If WICKED can do that, then the kids' unique identities are pretty much garbage. After all, didn't WICKED already erase all the kids' memories?

Chapter 7

He knew they were on the edge of yet another great change in their ridiculous journey, and he didn't want to draw it out any longer. (7.32)

After being manipulated so much by WICKED, each Variable almost seems like another day in the office for the Gladers. Ugh, time to put on their ties, grab their briefcases, and walk out into another lightning storm. All in a day's work.

"Why do you even bother asking questions, dude? Nothing has ever made sense and it probably never will." (7.36)

Minho couldn't have said it any better. Asking questions won't do Thomas any good, because WICKED can manipulate the Variables as much as they want. They have absolute power over the Gladers.

Chapter 10

"We can manipulate your brains and nerve receptacles when necessary." (10.46)

Thanks for reminding us, Rat Man, that WICKED is omnipotent. That's a real confidence-booster. If WICKED can manipulate everything, then why even bother with the trials?

Chapter 19

"I don't know what the word for it is. But it blows me away how the two groups went through these trips parallel experiments." (19.34)

The word is probably "manipulative," but at this point, the kids are at an utter loss when it comes to having any sense of control. They've lost it all, and they're at the full disposal of WICKED.

They now knew they were being tested somehow, put through WICKED's trials. (19.20)

You'd think that knowing WICKED's plans would have been a leg-up for the Gladers, but it actually turns out that WICKED wanted the Gladers to know about their plans. With that out in the open, there's really no way the kids can gain any kind of strategical advantage for what they're getting into.

Chapter 36

"I guess it's just another part of this whole nightmare that makes no sense." (36.11)

Phrases like this are thrown around every once in a while, highlighting how the kids feel about being manipulated so much. We agree: it sounds like an utter nightmare.

Chapter 42

The people from WICKED had shown up to save him pretty quickly. From what they'd said, it was something they hadn't planned on, but they'd done it anyway. Which meant they were watching and could swoop in to save them whenever they wanted to. (42.12)

Even when Thomas finds out that WICKED could interfere with the experiment, it doesn't do him much good. So WICKED can save people at will; so what? What does it all mean? Why are they doing any of this in first place?

Chapter 46

Could they even be manipulating her thoughts? Making her not like him anymore? (46.10)

If WICKED can control people's thoughts (like Teresa's), then who knows what's in store for Thomas. Will he continue to act like himself? Or will he just become a puppet for WICKED? Who is he, anyway? He certainly doesn't know—not with his memories wiped out as they have been by WICKED.

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