The Fascinating Story of Holes | Teen Ink

The Fascinating Story of Holes

February 22, 2019
By BOWEN_WANG BRONZE, Beijing, Other
BOWEN_WANG BRONZE, Beijing, Other
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Louis Sachar’s Holes is a fascinating novel. It brings the reader a magical story. The book tells the story of an unlucky boy named Stanley. He begins the story as an overweight child who does not have any friends. Because of a curse placed on Stanley’s great-great-grandfather, his family have been beset with bad luck for generations. At the novel’s beginning, Stanley is wrongly accused of stealing a star baseball player’s shoes. Stanley is innocent, but his family do not have enough money to hire a lawyer. Because of this, he is sent to a detention facility called Camp Green Lake to accept his punishment.

Camp Green Lake is located in the bed of a big, dry lake. It is very hot there, and it has not rained in a 100 years when Stanley arrives at the camp. The camp is surrounded by dangerous animals, including the deadly yellow-spotted lizard. All the boys at the camp must dig a large hole every day. This is meant to build character for the boys, but in actuality the warden wants to find treasure buried in the lake’s dry bed. The warden and her staff do not provide enough water and fresh food to the campers. Furthermore, they are very rude and cruel to the boys. From this, it is clear that Stanley is forced to lead a hard life, but he is also quite strong and brave.

Stanley’s hard life at Camp Green Lake continues for about three months. Although he is tired every day, he becomes stronger and begins to lose weight. One day, his best friend Zero fights with the warden, and then runs away. Stanley is worried, knowing that Zero will probably die in the desert that surrounds Camp Green Lake. He also abandons the camp and wanders through the desert until he finds Zero. Stanley carries Zero up a mountain to find water, and there they also find onions that they eat to stay alive. Throughout the novel, Sachar regular changes perspective to show the reader the history of both Camp Green Lake and Stanley’s family. As Zero and Stanley hide out eating onions, the mysteries of the novel are fully revealed.

Stanley and Zero find clues about the treasure that has been buried at Camp Green Lake by an outlaw named Kissin’ Kate Barlow. They return to the camp to find the treasure, and discover that it once belonged to Stanely’s great-grandfather. By showing kindness to Zero and carrying him up the mountain, Stanley has broken the centuries long curse on his family. At that moment, Stanley’s father, a failed inventor, finally finds success with one of his inventions. He uses his newfound wealth to hire  a lawyer who frees Stanley from Cramp Green Lake. Stanley refuses to leave until he can bring Zero with him, and after the two leave together he helps Zero find his lost mother. The story ends with a beautiful scene of Stanley and Zero’s families together in happiness. I love this climax because strength, wisdom and friendship overcome all of the obstacles in Stanley’s way.

Overall, I think Holes is a wonderful book. Stanley’s strength and wisdom touched me deeply, and made me enjoy his character a great deal. I also liked how the story shows the reader the social conditions of the American past through its historical sections. I felt deeply about the themes of friendship and fate that were present throughout the whole story. In the end, the novel ties its many themes and different timelines together in a hugely satisfying way.



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