Our comprehensive analysis of Louis Sachar's best-selling novel Holes looks at the key building blocks of the story. First, we have a look at the title. The structure and composition of the novel are then examined, as we have a complex plot, with several storylines artfully interwoven.
This is followed by a description of the most important settings, such as Camp Green Lake, the Warden's cabin, "God's Thumb" or the town of Green Lake. Then the chronology of the frame story as well as the narrative time and narrated time and the interweaving of past and present are examined. We analyze the particularities of the language looking especially at the simple vocabulary, character language, and youth language. We then have a look at narrator and point of view, and the role of the narrator in the story.
Our detailed analysis of the most important aspects of Holes is a wonderful resource for a more in-depth study of this highly interesting young adult novel. Everything is explained in easy-to-understand language and supported with appropriate and illustrative text examples.
Excerpt of the text:
The novel's simple vocabulary is also due to the fact that none of the characters who appear stand out for their above-average level of education. The teenagers communicate in the everyday language they are familiar with, and even the Warden and the counselors do not distinguish themselves from their inmates in terms of speech characteristics.
Mr. Sir speaks in a simple, military command tone: "No one is going to baby-sit you,(...). This isn’t a Girl Scout camp" (Part 1, 10%). Mr. Pendanski can deliver pompous and morally important speeches, but they do not show any particular sharpness of thought or eloquence. Quite the contrary, they consist of simple sentences and even simpler words: "I understand you’ve made some bad mistakes in your life. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here. But everyone makes mistakes. You may have done some bad things, but that doesn’t mean you’re a bad kid." (Part 1, 12%). Aside from his speeches, however, Mr. Pendanski operates on a similar linguistic level as the inmates at Camp Green Lake. For example, he calls Zigzag a "bully" (Part 2, 6%).
Although the Warden occupies a prominent position in the camp, she too is not characterized by any particular eloquence. Her authoritarian manner is also reflected in her language, not through verbal agility, but through a brash and sometimes casual and cynical manner that does not have to use any special words: "He’s not going to die, (...). Unfortunately for you." (Part 1, 73%).