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HOLES BY LOUIS SACHER

ESSAY TOPICS / BOOK REPORT IDEAS

1. Why is the book called Holes?

2. What was the hole in Stanley’s life when he first went to Camp Green Lake? How was it filled in?

3. Discuss the significance of the nicknames of the boys at Camp Green Lake.

4. How did Stanley’s memories of Derrick Dunne help him survive his second day of digging?

5. Explain the importance of onions, peaches, May Lou.

6. What does X-Ray’s real name, Rex, mean? Why was he the leader of the group?

7. How did Stanley’s personality change since arriving at Camp Green Lake? Has his character improved or deteriorated?

8. Compare and contrast the three versions of the song that appears throughout the book.


9. Compare and contrast the characters Stanley and Zero. Use physical and personality traits in your descriptions.

10. Give examples of Stanley’s conflicts with people, nature, and himself.

11. Find an example of sarcasm, irony, and simile in the novel. Explain the meaning of each.

12. Describe the similarities between Madame Zeroni and Zero, and Stanley and Elya.

COMMENT ON THE STUDY OF LITERATURE

The study of literature is not like the study of math or science, or even history. While those disciplines are based largely upon fact, the study of literature is based upon interpretation and analysis. There are no clear-cut answers in literature, outside of the factual information about an author's life and the basic information about setting and characterization in a piece of literature. The rest is a highly subjective reading of what an author has written; each person brings a different set of values and a different background to the reading. As a result, no two people see the piece of literature in exactly the same light, and few critics agree on everything about a book or an author.

In this study guide for a well-known piece of literature, we have tried to give an objective literary analysis based upon the information actually found in the novel, book, or play. In the end, however, it is an individual interpretation, but one that we feel can be readily supported by the information that is presented in the guide. In your course of literature study, you or your professor/teacher may come up with a different interpretation of the mood or the theme or the conflict. Your interpretation, if it can be logically supported with information contained within the piece of literature, is just as correct as ours. So is the interpretation of your teacher or professor.

Literature is simply not a black or white situation; instead, there are many gray areas that are open to varying analyses. Your task is to come up with your own analysis that you can logically defend. Hopefully, these booknotes will help you to accomplish that goal.

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