Study Guide

The Scorch Trials Memory

By James Dashner

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Chapter 1

And above it all, he had one image burned into his memories as strongly as a branded mark from a searing hot iron. His friend Chuck, stabbed in the chest, bleeding, dying as Thomas held him. (1.15)

Maybe it would seem better to forget some memories. This one is totally traumatic, and it haunts Thomas. WICKED sure isn't wiping this memory away, though. Why not? What's the point of all this?

Chapter 7

But being reminded of his friend, and at such an odd moment, made Thomas angry. (7.27)

When you have a traumatic experience, being reminded about it isn't very fun. But when you're reminded of it at an odd moment—say, you're reminded of a skiing accident while you're on your first date—that can make you angry.

Chapter 9

The scattered pieces of the puzzle brought back by the Changing weren't nearly enough to form solid memories. (9.10)

The Changing was a process a Glader would go through back in the Maze when they were stung by a Griever; it was painful, but it restored splotchy memories of the past. This is why Thomas keeps having these dream-memories.

If he was going to get through this, he'd have to try to forget about her for now. (9.26)

Pushing memories into the back of your mind is pretty hard to do, but in some cases it's vital. Thomas needs to forget about Teresa, despite how much it hurts him to do so.

Chapter 17

His sense of direction surprised him, as if a piece of his past had risen from the ashes. (17.30)

Remember, Thomas had some kind of part in constructing the Maze, so when he has an oddly good sense of direction while in the Flat Trans, it makes us wonder if Thomas constructed the rest of the Trials as well.

Chapter 21

As much as it pained him, as much as the memory of it tore at his heart, Thomas told the story. (21.23)

It pains Thomas to tell the story of his experience in the shed with Teresa. But the memory needs to be known to the public; some memories shouldn't always be kept to oneself, for example if they involve the safety and well-being of other people.

Chapter 23

If he'd been funny in his old life, every scrap of humor had certainly vanished in the memory swipe. (23.33)

Yeah, that's probably not how it works. Either you're funny, or you ain't.

Chapter 35

Thomas was quiet. Maybe more strongly than ever before, he felt that a memory—an important one—was trying to squeeze its way through the cracks in the wall blocking him from his past. (35.25)

We've all had this moment. It's like when you're thinking of a word, and it's on the tip of your tongue, but you just can't seem to spit the darn thing out. For Thomas, it's a little more important than that, because he's actually trying to reconstruct his identity as he searches through what memories he still sort of has.

Chapter 46

With a jolt he remembered the tag outside her door back in the dorm. The Betrayer. He'd completely forgotten about it until that moment. Things started to make more sense. (46.9)

How, we ask, could Thomas possibly forget that Teresa was labeled The Betrayer? This memory baffles us, since seeing your best friend labeled as The Betrayer should be a massive red flag. Right? Well, sometimes love blinds you, we guess.


"So what'd I do to you?" Thomas asked quickly. "Sorry, I'm kind of havin' a memory lapse—ya know, we have those a lot around here. Remind me." (46.32)

Here is one of Thomas' attempts at humor. As you can tell, he isn't too funny.

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