Having hope can help people continue to go on even though what they are going through at the time is really difficult
Having hope can help people continue to go on even though what they are going through at the time is really difficult. Throughout The Maze Runner, the Gladers struggle to maintain hope even though they have been forced to live in the Glades for the past two years without having found a way out of the Maze. James Dashner proves that no matter what the Gladers were put through, they never gave up hope of survival and saw that there was a light at the end of the tunnel in spite of being surrounded by darkness. Having hope is a powerful thing for survival, however, in times of despair, maintaining hope may need to be generated by the people around you. If you have hope, then it gives you the determination to keep trying to succeed and survive. The Maze Runner explores how the Gladers were able to do this by choosing hope, bargaining for hope or borrowing someone else’s hope.
First of all, choosing to believe in a positive outcome even if things do not look good at the moment is a powerful way to create hope. To begin with, choosing to have positive leadership skills maintains hope. Leaders need to be able to give direction and the hope that can resolve a crisis. A leader will take the slightest amount of hope to make the impossible seem possible. A leader’s skills in knowing what the group needs to accomplish allows everyone to do what is needed to succeed. For example in The Maze Runner, Newt thinks that hard work and order will keep the Gladers hopeful and stop them from losing it. This was shown when Newt tells Thomas that their whole existence depended on working and keeping order. “Order. You say that bloody word over and over in your shuck head. Reason we’re all sane around here is ’cause we work our butts off and maintain order.” (Chapter 15, page 102). This allowed the Gladers to feel like their lives had a purpose and not to give up hope that they would survive. Rather than giving up, Newt’s positive leadership skills motivated the group to create a self-sustaining community which ensured their survival during their two years in the Maze. In the same manner, choosing to have resilience or the ability to come through hard times by bouncing back repairs hope. This means a person is able to recover from a negative experience and have a positive outlook instead of being pushed down and defeated. For instance, Minho believes that the Runners’ daily routine of searching the Maze for a way out gives the rest of the group hope. His resilience was shown when the sun was gone and the sky was gray and Minho still kept the routine of running the Maze. When Thomas questions Minho if he is still going out there, Minho replies, “If anything, gives us even more reason to get out butts out there. If the sun’s really gone, won’t be long before plants and animals drop dead, too. I think the desperation level just went up a notch. (Chapter 34, page 220-221) Minho’s resilience allowed the rest of the group to continue to have hope that they may find a way out of the Maze despite the overwhelming events that have been occurring. As a result, the Gladers defeated the Grievers and found their way out of the Maze. Choosing to believe in a positive outcome maintains hope in oneself and produces hope in others for their purpose and survival.
In addition to having chosen hope, hope is often generated if you take on the ‘if I do this, then that will happen’ position. Generally speaking, one person being hopeful can generate hope in others. Seeing a person with an optimistic attitude and a drive for a positive outcome can lift others out of their self-defeating attitudes. To illustrate, Thomas’ powerful sense of hope in The Maze Runner inspires Minho to help him defeat the Grievers and regain hope that they could survive. This was shown when Minho had lost all hope of survival while Thomas, Alby and he were stuck in the Maze and he ran off rather than helping Thomas save Alby. Thomas never gave up hope and managed to protect Alby who was unconscious. Minho saw Thomas dodge and outsmart a Griever before it got him. That gave Minho the courage to help Thomas defeat the Grievers and renewed his hope they would survive. Minho’s new sense of hope is shown when he says to Thomas, “I think you just figured it out. We’ve been wrong – well, hopefully we’ve been wrong. Because no one who’d been stung and didn’t make it back by sunset has ever survived, we just assumed that was the point of no return – when it’s too late to get the Serum.” (Chapter 22, p. 141) For this reason, this allowed Minho and the other Gladers to finally believe that they could defeat the Grievers which lead to their escape from the Maze. Similarly, having inner strength recreates hope. Keeping your own power means that you stand up for yourself, overcome conflict and turn a crisis into an opportunity. As evidence, Thomas’ inner strength helped him go through with his plan to find a way out of the maze. This was shown when everyone was giving up hope and Thomas realized that he really had to solve the code of the Maze but needed more clues about it. He came up with a plan to get stung by a Griever so he would go through the Changing and retrieve memories. Even though he was terrified with his plan, Thomas went through with it. His memories during the Changing eventually lead them to the only way out of the maze. Thomas shared with the Gladers that he “…needed the Changing to add the final pieces of the puzzle. Anyway, I wanted you to know the truth, to know there’s a chance we can do this.” (Chapter 50, p. 309) Consequently, Thomas’ restored memories allowed the other Gladers to realize that they really needed to fight the Grievers which ultimately contributed to their departure out of the Maze. It is evident that hope can be created and shared if you take on the ‘if I do this, then that will happen’ bargaining position.
Equally important as bargainer’s hope, borrowing someone else’s confidence in you and their hope for you can bring back hope when despair is taking over. For the most part, borrowing a friend’s confidence in you restores hope. Sometimes another person sees cause for hope in your life more easily than you can. If you trust this person, you can take on their confidence and their hope for you. To demonstrate, in The Maze Runner, Teresa reassures Thomas when he begins to doubt his plan for escaping the Maze. This was shown when Thomas became terrified about Chuck and Teresa being out in the Maze and wanted to protect his friends. Teresa’s encouraging words that they could do it were enough to restore his hope that the plan would work. “Thomas didn’t respond, and for a long time they just sat there, holding hands, no words spoken, in their minds or aloud. He felt the slightest hint of peace, as fleeting as it was, and tried to enjoy it for however long it might last.” (Chapter 52, p. 319) In this case, this allowed Thomas to erase all of his doubts and continue on with his plan which resulted in their escape from the Maze. Furthermore, borrowing someone else’s optimism strengthens hope. People who are optimistic see the glass as being half full rather than half empty. Taking on their hopefulness about the future or the successful outcome of something can help you change your frame of mind. To clarify, Teresa’s positive outlook helps Thomas regain hope for a future after he couldn’t move past the fact that Chuck was dead. This was shown when Chuck’s death causes Thomas to give up all hope even though they were out of the Maze and finally felt safe in the dormitory. He couldn’t believe Chuck was dead and that he wasn’t able to keep his promise of getting him back to his parents. Teresa gave him good advice and reminded Thomas that Chuck “…died saving you. He made the choice himself. Just don’t’ ever waste his sacrifice.. (Chapter 62, p. 371) As a result, this allowed Thomas to have a new a sense of duty to Chuck to go on with his life and plan for the future now that he was safe and out of the Maze. In times of despair, borrowing someone else’s confidence in you and their hope for you can repair hope and restore determination to continue going on during tough times.
At the end of The Maze Runner, the Creators explain that they put the boys in the Maze in order to test if they would lose hope and stop fighting for survival. The novel ends by suggesting that hope is the most important factor in surviving dreadful situations. It is obvious that there are times in a person’s life when they feel full of despair and need to choose hope, borrow hope and even bargain for hope to survive and succeed. Regardless of how hope is generated, nothing can be done without hope.
This idea is can be associated with the Syrian refugees who have experienced the devastations of war. These innocent people, who have been forced from their homes and country in search of peace and safety, are seeking hope where they can find it. For many refugees, the only hope left seemed to be in another country such as Canada where they have succeeded in beating the terrible circumstances from the war. The Syrian refugees who have come to Canada are an excellent example of how choosing to have hope and believing in a positive outcome gave them the determination to survive and succeed.