Elements of adventure, fairy-tales, and sagas

Adventure elements in Holes

Louis Sachar’s novel Holes can be considered in some ways an adventure novel. The main premise of an adventure novel is that the hero of the story leaves his familiar and safe environment and enters unknown, dangerous, and sometimes life-threatening situations. The hero often has one or more companions and must prove himself together them in extreme physical and mental situations. The hero is often rewarded with success at the end of the adventure novel. Another characteristic of an adventure novel is the fact that other relatively independent stories are grouped around the hero's main story. Their significance for the overall context only emerges towards the end.

Stanley's departure for Camp Green Lake can therefore be considered a characteristic of an adventure novel. Stanley lives the safety of his home environment and suddenly finds himself in a harsh correctional boot camp in the sweltering Texas heat. The real adventure, however, begins in the second part, when Stanley sets out into the Texas desert without water or help in the second part of the novel to save his friend Zero from dying of thirst.

Conditions in the Texas desert are deadly and brutal: "It seemed pointless. He [Stanley] could see there was nothing ahead of him. Nothing but emptiness. He was hot, tired, hungry, and, most of all, thirsty." (Part 2, 23%). However, Stanley does not turn back until he finds his friend Zero (Part 2, 27%). It is through these adventurous experiences that Stanley undergoes his transformation from awkward antihero to courageous hero (see characterization of Stanley Yelnats).

The episode in which Stanley and Zero want to get to "God's Thumb" together is another scene that could belong in an adventure novel. The young people have to brave the heat of the desert together. The undertaking undoubtedly represents a physica...

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