The Lost Boys in the Maze
Then surprise, surprise, a girl is introduced into the Glade—and everything changes. And that’s exactly what she tells the boys just before she slips into a coma: “Everything is going to change.” And clutched in her hand is a piece of paper that says: “She’s the last one. Ever.” Her arrival signals the end of the Glade. The Maze stays open all the time, and the monstrous Grievers can enter the Glade and pick off the boys as they sleep. Thomas and the others realize it’s time to get out.
This whole scenario has a Wendy and the Lost Boys flavor—except that the Glade is not an idyllic place. In PETER PAN, introducing Wendy into the land of never-ending boyhood results in many of the Lost Boys wanting to grow up and leave the island. Can the same be said of the introduction of Teresa into the Glade? I’m not sure. The Gladers generally want to leave already—though some may enjoy the relative freedom of the experiment. They may be trapped in this horrific Neverland, but no adult is telling them what to do.
Dashner's target audience does seem to be middle grade and up boys. And boys, as Jeff pointed out yesterday, do love a good tribe--which often excludes the opposite sex. So I can see the appeal . However, from an internal story logic standpoint, I don't quite get why girls weren't included in the experiment in the first place. (Granted, I haven't read the Scorch Trials yet, and all may be revealed by the third book.)
So here's my question--actually questions--for you guys.
What do you think about the role of girl(s) in THE MAZE RUNNER? If we're writing for boys, do we need to exclude or downplay girls? (I don't mean this as a criticism of Dashner's work, but just as a general question for us writers of YA/MG fiction.)
The League of Extraordinary Writers is a group of debut YA authors who write science fiction and dystopian works. The ten of us have works that run the gamut of near-future mind control to far-future space travel, but they do have one thing in common: a future where the Earth we know now is twisted, gone.