I’ll Take (Movie) Dystopias for 500 Alex

In the movie The Maze Runner, the WCKD virus is turning young people into cannibalistic “zombies” who are trying to infect more victims. The WCKD company was founded to find a cure for the virus so they started doing the maze runner trials. They took kids and put them in the trials to see who could survive under stressful situations. Thomas, the main character, previously worked for WCKD and tried to help them find a cure but he realized that the company was doing more harm than good to the kids they were putting in the Glade. When the company realized that Thomas knew too much they wiped his memory and put him in the trials. As the movie progresses Thomas informs his fellow Runners that there is a way out of the maze and maybe a more complicated reason as to why they were chosen to be a part of the trials in the first place.

The Maze Runner is a dystopia because the people there were placed there by force. A company has the Runners under constant surveillance and uses them as pawns in a game. The characters are being exploited to see if they can handle the constant strain and stress of being trapped in the maze. In the dystopian context, I think this film could be probable in real life. I think some could even argue that large companies such as the pharmaceutical industry are able to manipulate people like they do in the movie. However, I don’t think things could ever go as far as people being put into a high stakes situation (under constant monitoring) just to see who could survive. But then again I guess it’s hard to speak in indefinite terms. I think that this movie is dystopian because the characters are oppressed and being exposed to a virus just to observe how they will react to it. The company in power is kind of like the government and they are trying to keep the Runners trapped for as long as possible. The Glade could be compared to the concentration camps that Jews were put into during World War II. In this context, both parties were innocent but they were captured and mistreated by people in power who wanted to abuse/exterminate them.

Overall, I think the movie has good social commentary about the power large companies can have over the general public.

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