Summary: Chapter 22

Minho and Thomas walk back to the West Gate, where they’re met by Newt and a group of Gladers who are amazed to see that they’re still alive. Alby is taken down from the wall and given Grief Serum, an antidote sent weekly by the Creators. The Gladers hope he will live through the Changing. Thomas and Minho go to the infirmary, and later, Chuck wakes Thomas to tell him that that the Serum worked on Alby, and that he’s just starting the Changing. Thomas hears Alby scream.

Summary: Chapter 23

Released from the infirmary, Thomas spends the day in the Deadheads, thinking about Alby and feeling depressed about his new life. Chuck brings Thomas dinner and tells him that everyone is talking about his heroics in the Maze. Newt arrives and explains that when someone endures a Changing, some of his memories are restored. Afterward, the boy usually becomes unlikeable and difficult, like Gally (and on very rare occasions psychotic, like Ben). Newt is worried about how the serum will alter Alby. Newt tells Thomas that in the morning there will be a Gathering to discuss Thomas’s future.

Summary: Chapter 24

At the Gathering, all the Keepers (minus Alby, who is undergoing the Changing), debate what should happen to Thomas. Some think he should be punished for breaking the Glade’s most important rule: never enter the Maze. Others think he should be rewarded for saving Alby’s life. Gally suggests Thomas is an untrustworthy spy who was assisted inside the Maze and says that he should be imprisoned for a month. Minho goes last and suggests Thomas should replace him as Keeper of the Runners.

Summary: Chapter 25

Gally is infuriated by Minho’s suggestion, but Newt tells Minho to make his case. Minho says that Thomas acted heroically in the Maze, saving Alby’s life and destroying the Grievers. Gally and Minho fight, and when Newt pulls Minho off Gally, Gally leaves, threatening to put a stop to whatever Thomas is up to and kill him if necessary.

Summary: Chapter 26

The Gathering continues after Gally’s departure, and Newt recommends that Thomas be put in the Slammer (the Glade’s jail) for one day, and that afterward he becomes a Runner, but not a Keeper. Everyone but Winston agrees. When the meeting ends, a frightened-looking Chuck appears at the door and says Alby is asking for Thomas.

Summary: Chapter 27

Alby asks to speak to Thomas alone, and tells him that during the Changing, he learned who Thomas and the girl are, and that it isn’t good. He also says that he knows about “the Flare,” which Thomas doesn’t understand. Just as Alby is about to explain who Thomas really is, Alby begins to strangle himself. Thomas calls Newt and they subdue Alby and pry his hands off his own neck. Alby says that a force outside of him was controlling his hands, then gives Newt two instructions: “Be careful with the girl,” and “protect the Maps.”

Summary: Chapter 28

Newt takes Thomas to see the girl. Thomas hears a voice in his head saying “Teresa,” and realizes that this is the girl’s name, and that she’s communicating with him telepathically. She tells him that they, Teresa and Thomas, “did this to them, to us,” and that they were both sent to pass “the Trials” and bring this story to an end. She repeats, “Everything is going to change.” 

Summary: Chapter 29

On the way to breakfast the next day, Chuck tells Thomas that Gally has gone missing. Newt comes to take Thomas for his one day in the Slammer.

Summary: Chapter 30

Chuck brings Thomas lunch at the Slammer. They talk about missing a home they don’t remember, and they wonder what happened back in the world. Thomas promises to get Chuck home.

Summary: Chapter 31

Alby lets Thomas out of jail. Alby won’t tell Thomas any more about his identity, except to say that Thomas is helping the Creators. But Alby is more shaken by the state of the world he saw, saying it was worse than a night with the Grievers. Minho joins Thomas for dinner, then he retreats to his corner of the forest.

Analysis: Chapters 22–31

After his unexpected return to the Glade, the Gladers’ views of Thomas fall somewhere on a spectrum between distrust and hero worship. Thomas has broken the Glade’s number one rule: No one but the Runners are allowed into the Maze. In a society that relies on order and trust, rule-breaking requires punishment if trust is ever to be gained. As antagonist and leader of the anti-Thomas faction, Gally’s distrust of Thomas is so deep that he believes the newcomer to be a spy for the Creators. Later in these chapters, Alby backs up this accusation when he reveals that he saw Thomas help the Creators in his memories during the Changing. To those in the pro-Thomas camp, Thomas is a hero who risked his own life to save other Gladers. In awe of Thomas’s feat, Frypan wants Thomas appointed to the Council so he can teach the others how he survived in the Maze. A humbled Minho states that Thomas should take his place as Keeper of the Runners, supporting this recommendation with his firsthand experience with the Maze itself and an account of Thomas’s heroic willpower, strength, and perseverance that helped them to survive. Newt tries to strike a balance, naming Thomas a Runner and sentencing him to one day in the Slammer. Whether as villain or hero, Thomas’s actions have incited strong emotions in his fellow Gladers.

In these chapter, as discussion of the Creators begins to take place, Thomas experiences an internal struggle born out of a larger theme of life in the Glade: civilization versus savagery. Thomas understands that the Creators provide regularly scheduled deliveries of food, clothing, and supplies the Gladers need for survival, but they are not benevolent. They ripped children from their homes and families, wiping their memories and leaving the boys with barely a trace of identity. They built the Maze, a puzzle no one has been able to solve despite trying every day for two years, and they created the Grievers, grotesque creatures that cause suffering and death. Most Gladers have had time to come to terms with their situation and focus only on surviving each day. But Thomas’s experience in the Maze and his deep concern for Alby’s suffering during the Changing ignite a desire for revenge against the Creators. Though he sinks back into hopelessness, his battle with the Grievers and his concerns for the Gladers has awakened a primal desire to fight.

In Chapter 30, Chuck explicitly addresses a pervasive theme of the story when he mourns his loss of memory and identity. Though he’s usually easy-going and goofy, here a depressed Chuck admits to Thomas that he’s incredibly homesick for a life he can’t remember. Chuck’s revelation hits Thomas particularly hard, as he has become an older-brother figure to the youngest Glader. Though he doesn’t feel passionately about his own memory and identity loss, Thomas becomes enraged at what has been taken from Chuck. His promise to Chuck is not just that he will get him home, but also that he will return his identity as a young boy with caring parents who lives a normal life. Alby also grapples with memory after the Changing and wonders if the images he’s received as memories are real or planted by the Creators. Much like Ben, Alby is so frightened by his Changing memories that he has lost the desire to return home. He clings to his identity as a Glader and resolves to choose death rather than return to who he once was.