Essay: The Hero’s Journey Theory represented in The Maze Runner

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  • Published on: January 17, 2020
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  • The Hero's Journey Theory represented in The Maze Runner
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The hero’s journey theory appears in a multitude of works, setting the baseline of the story. One work, in particular, that uses this theorem is the novel The Maze Runner by James Dashner. The story abruptly starts off with the Call to Adventure — the protagonist, Thomas wakes up in a box with no recollection of anything; his memory erased. It is when he enters the new world, The Glade, that marks the beginning of his hero’s journey, as life before he knows it is about to change. Thomas learns about the new world from the group of kids residing there, however he refuses to believe he is one of them now. He stays in a state of denial for a good amount of time, as he’s not used to life as a Glader, and does not wish to accustom to it. This is Thomas’ Refusal of the Call. Eventually, Thomas takes a huge part in helping the other Gladers fulfill their one goal — to escape the maze. Along the way, Thomas has Mentors in which help guide him through his journey. These mentors are his friends: Minho, Chuck, Alby and Newt. Thomas crosses the Threshold when he goes against the strict rules of the maze. He attempts in saving Alby and Minho before the walls close for the night, leaving them trapped with the Grievers that would swallow them whole. Thomas, bravely yet carelessly runs into the maze before the walls close, ignoring the rule of not being able to go in if you are not a runner. At the time, Thomas was not a runner, yet after that night he proved himself that he could be. At first, Thomas went through Tests to see his strong suit. He failed at farming, cooking and slaughtering, and running seemed to fit him best, though he was still considered a newbie. There were some enemies he made along the way, like Gally who blamed everything on him and tried to make him look bad. In spite of this. Thomas knew who to trust in the Glade, and would risk his life for them. An example of this would be when he was stuck in the maze with Minho and Alby, and had to face the Grievers that tried to kill them. This was his Approach to the Inmost Cave, as he faced multiple dangers while in the maze. The Ordeal begins when Thomas must lead the rest of the Gladers out of the maze, and it is all up to him in deciding where to go from there. The Reward is their final escape from the maze; freedom. Thomas is relieved to be out, yet destroyed at the fact that he could not successfully save everyone, especially his best friend, Chuck. He would rather sacrifice his life than have Chuck’s taken from him. Chuck is stabbed by Gally, who has betrayed the Gladers and teamed up with their rival, WICKED. The Gladers must face their final challenge of Resurrection with a fight between Gally and the woman from WICKED. However, this fight is cut short due to a group of “rescuers” that take the Gladers out and pile them onto a large bus. From there, they are lead to a building with beds and food, and they finally feel safe. Nonetheless, in the end, they find out that this was all apart of the plan, and their rescuers are actually workers from WICKED. Thomas and the Gladers must figure out how to escape once again for their next journey, occurring in the following novel. From the start to the end of the novel, Thomas is a changed person. He Returns with the Elixir as he has grown as a person through his past experiences. At first, he would not trust anyone at the Glade. Now, he would do everything and anything if it meant saving his friends from the dangers of WICKED.

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