Is it easier or harder to achieve success independently?
In The Maze Runner, James Dashner creates the theme of friendship to reach goals throughout the novel. In the story, a person versus person conflict is used to impede goals. Next, character development is mentioned where the protagonist, Thomas, is a static character, and the character, Alby, is dynamic to shift the pace of their target. Finally, the setting is used to lead the Gladers to their friendship by reducing their conflict with each other. In James Dashner’s novel The Maze Runner, the author uses literary elements to emphasize that working independently will impede one’s goals, but working with friends, will expedite up the process of accomplishing one’s sense of success.
One of the ways James Dashner conveys this message is through a person versus person conflict. When conflict interferes with goals, characters will think differently. For example, when Thomas first arrives, Alby states, “If you ain’t scared, … you ain’t human. Act any different and I’d throw you off the Cliff because it’d mean you’re a psycho”. Alby threatens Thomas while he is trying to get information about the maze, but Alby wants to kill him if he is not scared. Also, all the boys want to reach a common goal, which is to escape the maze. Although they want to reach this goal, conflicts such as this will slow down their process as Thomas will show his fear and appear less confident. This sense of fear can carry with Thomas and change his opinion on Alby. Thomas will see Alby differently and not treat him as a friend who will impact their success. As well, some conflicts split the communication between one another. After Chuck plays a joke on Gally, Gally states, “But you better decide right quick who you want as your friends and enemies, hear me? One more trick like that-I don’t care if it’s your sissy idea or not-there’ll be blood spilled”. Although these boys have a common goal of escaping the maze, some of them want to have fun during their time there. Therefore, Gally gets angry because of this joke and threatens aggressively to kill them before they reach their goal. Conflicts like this will break up a friendship and will make it hard for them to communicate in the maze. The boys having a conflict between each other will slow down their goals, although the utilization of character development can change the speed of reaching success.
Secondly, Character development is mentioned to shift the boys’ pace of their target. To begin with, becoming a dynamic character impedes their path to success. During the meeting of the keepers, Ably states that he “burned the Maps”. In further explanation, Alby, the leader of the group, changes as a character and burns all the maps while despising the idea of escaping the maze. At the beginning of the story, his main intention is to escape. Although this is his main intention, Alby has dynamically changed throughout the story to become who he is at the end. Therefore a dynamic character drops their success rate, as the maps are a crucial component to escaping. Next static character development continues their friendship and leads them to success. After the Gladers complete the maze, Teresa states, “You did it, Chuck!”. To explain, Thomas continues to be a static character, which leads to their achievement that expresses happiness. With Thomas remaining static, he can maintain his friends and use them to complete the maze, which is their end goal. Character development helps Thomas achieve his desires, and a dynamic character impedes his goals; however, the setting contributes to their friendship.
Finally, the setting is a component that leads the Gladers to their friendship. In addition, being in the same situation together requires communication. Once Thomas arrives at the maze, Alby states, “This place is the Glade, all right? It’s where we live, where we eat, where we sleep, we call ourselves the Gladers”. To further infer, Alby expresses how they are all in the same situation and are forced to be friends to escape. Communication is required so everyone can eat and sleep properly. This communication further contributes to their friendship, as the boys will respect each other for taking care of them. Secondly, there are times where help is required so people can survive. Once Thomas enters the maze and Minho leaves him, Thomas “refused to finish the thought. He couldn’t leave Alby behind… The four vines tied to Alby below hung tautly around him. Thomas took hold of the one attached to Alby’s left leg and pulled”. Thomas sees the ease of surviving by himself. Although this thought enters his mind, Thomas thinks about their friendship and wants it to grow so they can escape. The vines represent growth, as a vine grows to become strong like a rope. Thomas uses the surrounding vines as a rope, which symbolizes their friendship growing. Additionally, this relates accordingly to the theme, where their friendship is used to obtain their ambition of surviving the maze at night. Overall, the setting is a factor in Dashner’s novel to encourage friendship, which leads them to their ambition.
In Dashner’s novel The Maze Runner, the author utilizes artistic components to underscore that working alone will obstruct one’s objectives, however, working with companions, will assist up the way toward achieving one’s feeling of accomplishment. Dashner uses person versus person conflict to slow down their path to success. Next, character development is mentioned to change the pace of achieving their goals. Finally, the setting is utilized to engage a sense of friendship, which contributes to escaping the maze. In life, success is strongly obtained by teamwork rather than independently because more perspectives combined is more efficient than a single view, that has a limit.
- Dashner, James. The Maze Runner. Delacorte Press, 2009.