"All I will say is that sometimes what you see is not real, and sometimes what you do not see is real." (10.46)
With this warning from Rat Man, the Gladers find themselves stuck in a Catch-22: if reality isn't what it seems, what can they possibly do?
Surely he was still asleep, dreaming. For some reason, that thought alone seemed to amplify his hunger... (10.17)
Hmm, maybe Thomas was dreaming about hamburgers and hot dogs. Or, maybe he was dreaming about what it used to be like before he was stuck in that darn Maze. Oh, well—either way, we guess dreaming makes Thomas hungry.
He knew he should tell them about his memory-dreams, but he just couldn't. (25.37)
If Thomas won't tell anyone about his memory-dreams, then their realities will just become foggier. Thomas should tell people his memories so that people can somehow figure out what's going on; by keeping his memories to himself, Thomas puts himself in a different version of reality from what others experience.
He couldn't help thinking of his dream and the brief glimpse he'd seen of [his mom], but did his best to forget it—it was too depressing. (29.42)
Repressing the past is something Thomas does so that he can focus on the present. Well, that's well and good, but as we know, the present in this novel isn't real. Hmm. There's a dilemma.
His mind drifted into a half-daze, thinking about the Maze and his splotchy memories and Teresa. Mostly about Teresa. (31.14)
Daydreaming: a favorite pastime of teenagers. How is Thomas's daydreaming different from his dreaming at night? Is it different?
"What if I see his nasty face every night when I go to sleep? What if he's in my dreams?" (34.32)
Thomas is afraid of having nightmares about Mr. Nose. But what's worse? A nightmare that isn't real, or the very real nightmare Thomas is actually living?
Teresa's brief visit to his mind seemed like a dream now. He could almost believe it had never happened. (43.8)
Part of the reason Thomas has a slightly better grip on reality than others do is that he has telepathic abilities, something his Glader friends don't have. Does this give him a leg up? Maybe. Or maybe it just distorts his sense even more.
He thought a lot about his dreams he'd been having, but still couldn't put enough together to truly understand what was going on. (49.3)
Thomas dreams all the time, but he still has trouble piecing all of those dreams together. His mind, his identity, and his reality are all a big, jumbled mess.
"WICKED is good." (65.39)
These are Teresa's final words in The Scorch Trials. It's hard to believe that WICKED is good, given all of the suffering the kids go through, but maybe WICKED truly is good, and that's just the harsh reality.
The future of the human race outweighs all. (E.5)
In the memorandum made by Ava Paige, she claims that WICKED is using these kids to help save the human race. We're given this information from a bunch of people who work for WICKED, which in some ways makes it still pretty hard to believe that WICKED is good. We mean, is that what they would want us to think?