Review on “Holes” by Louis Sachar
The only hope you have there may be green hill, which gave Stanley the courage, not to give up. 110 years ago Green Lake was the biggest lake in Texas. Around the lake were peach trees, which especially looked beautiful in spring. There was happiness and Joy, but it all changed with the murder of Sam, the foreign onion seller. From that day on, there was no rain In the City of Green Lake and all the people moved away. The village became sad and lonely. You can see how Green Lake changed with the Influence of people and how a happy lace can be given up.
Stanley and Zero are the key characters in the novel, because they connect all of the stories. They lift the curse of the lake and the secrets of the Camp. Zero is a quiet and introverted boy. Everyone at the Camp thinks that he is stupid and dumb, but he Just does not Like to answer questions, although he Is actually really clever and specifically brilliant at math. Stanley Is the only person who figured out that Zero Is Intelligent, because he Is the one who helped him to learn to read. From then on a great friendship developed between Zero and Stanley. Stanley is a nice, calm and friendly person.
He is fair and clever and he respects the other boys at camp. People like X-Ray influence Stanley actions, for example when he finds the gold tube. They both had a powerful durance, which helped them to survive. Resulting from the fact that they both do not like the other boys, their friendship got stronger and they were ready to risk their lives for each other. They are both very individual characters and they do not do anything, Just because they were told to do so. There are two main conflicts in the novel. The first conflict you get to know is Madame Zero’s curse.
In the past, she gave Stanley great-great-grandfather a pig and a good piece of advice and In return he promised to carry her up a very special hill. But Ella forgot about the promise and Madame Zeroed cursed him to bad luck. By chance Stanley met the great-great-grandson of Madame Zeroed 110 years later and as they fled from the camp Stanley lifted the curse, without even knowing about it. The other conflict is Kate Barrows treasure, which she buried somewhere in the dried out lake. The family of the warden wanted to find this treasure for generations and opened Camp Green Lake to find It.
Stanley was always followed by bad luck, in this story destiny plays a big role and helps him to survive. Another one is the importance of friendship, because without the help of their friendship they could not survive. It shows the difference between true friendship (between Zero and Stanley) and false friendship (between Stanley and X-Ray). The book also shows how people are confronted with the past in their everyday life and that everything is based on the past. It shows that every story is connected to history. The story is told by an omniscient narrator that is able to move back and forth in mime.
The historic scenes are narrated from different points of view and you do not know every character in the beginning. The modern day scenes are narrated in light of Stanley thoughts and actions. The narrator seems to know more than he tells and uses irony and dark humor to tell the story in an interesting fashion. One of the major symbols of the novel are the onions. In this book, onions are a symbol of survival. You find onions in several parts of the story, for example in the old Town of Green Lake, where Sam sold the onions for a living. Without the onions, he wouldn’t eve any money, so he only survived because of the onions.
Sam also believed, that onions are the best medicine for any kind of illness and the solution to any kind of problem, where he was often right. Later in the story, the onions saved Stanley and Zero’s lives because they were the only eatable thing that they found and without any food, the boys would have died. Shortly after that, the two friends again only survived because of the onions, even though this time they didn’t even know that it was the onions that kept the lizards from biting them while they were in the hole where they found the suitcase.
Another major symbol in the story sit the spools, which was actually Just really old spiced peaches in a Jar. A long time ago, when Sam fixed the schoolhouse for Katherine, she gave him some of her spiced peaches, to repay him. The Jars were in the boat when Sam was killed. It sunk to the bottom of the lake, so when Zero ran away from camp, he drank the spools to survive. At the end of the story, the smell of the spools inspired Stanley father to a product that made them rich. The title “Holes” fits the book very well, because the holes are another major symbol in the story. The boys at Camp Green Lake dig holes every day.
It’s the most important part of their day and they don’t even realize, that the warden is looking for something in those holes, and more importantly, has been looking there for a long time. It’s ironic, that the title “Holes” is also very well chosen, because the story, which plays over 110 years has ‘holes’ in it. Parts of the story from different times are somehow randomly put between other parts and so the chronological order is messed up. That way, there are gaps in the story, that will be filled in later. I think, that this is a wonderful book, that teaches you about friendship, honesty and keeping promises.
I think that it is especially a good read for children and teenagers, because it makes you appreciate your life and your loved ones. Since life at Camp Green Lake is exhausting and cruel, the reader thinks about how lucky he or she is, to live in a world where they have rights. Other, Stanley and Zero wouldn’t have survived living without food or water in the heat for such a long time. “Holes” also teaches us about the importance of honesty in a friendship. It is important to be honest to your friends because living with something weighing on your conscience is much worse than Just telling the truth.
Zero felt really guilty about the fact that Stanley had to take the blame for the incident with Clyde Levitation’s shoes, but he realized that Stanley wasn’t mad at him, but at his dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather for bringing the bad luck into his family. This is also the best example for the role of fate in the story. The book is practically built on fate because every single thing that happens in the book happens because of fate, and then the involved people have to live with the consequences of fate. I recommend this book to anyone who loves stories about friendship and adventure.