There are numerous significant passages in Holes by Louis Sachar, but the one that stuck out to me was “A short while later the boys fell asleep. Behind them the sky had turned dark, and for the first time in over one hundred years, a drop of rain fell into the empty lake” (225). Throughout a large portion of the book, Stanley and Zero are walking toward the Thumb to find the hidden treasure and reverse his family’s curse. This curse was created over a hundred years ago when Stanley’s great-great-grandfather “had stolen a pig from a one-legged Gypsy, and she put a curse on him and all his descendants” (8). Not only did this curse affect him and all his descendents, but Green Lake as well. Green Lake had not seen a drop of rain in over one hundred years. I chose the last line of the book, on page 225, because it signifies and values bravery, perseverance, success and friendship.
There are many moments in this book where the characters are brave. One in particular is when Zero ran away after hitting Mr. Pendanski with a shovel. Both of these actions were brave because when he ran away he did not have anywhere else to go, just like his life outside of Green Lake. Hitting a man with a shovel is also brave, while still being wrong, because Zero did not know how Mr. Pendanski would react. Later in the book, Zero depended on “sploosh” to keep himself alive. He did not know what “sploosh” was exactly, but he managed to drink all of the sixteen jars he found. Zero took many risks throughout this book. At first, Zero is portrayed as the quiet, weird kid. This was because he did not enjoy talking and always had a scowl on his face. Eventually, when Stanley and Zero become friends, Zero starts talking more. At this point, the readers discover that Zero does not like talking because he did not grow up with a proper education and does not like when people mock him.
Stanley’s actions are another example of the theme bravery. He got convicted for a crime he did not commit along with going to Camp Green Lake in the first place. He was also brave when the other kids started picking on him at camp just because he was overweight, and did not let it get to him too bad. After Zero ran away from camp, Stanley was not sure if he should go after him. After weighing the pros and cons, Stanley decided that he would go find Zero. This example clearly shows Stanley’s character of being brave, kind and caring. The attempt of stealing the truck with water for himself and Zero, carrying Zero up the mountain, finding the onions, finding the treasure and not letting the Warden touch it are all examples of Stanley’s bravery. Stanley steadily develops self-confidence, which helps strengthen the friendship between him and Zero. Stanley was teased back home for being overweight, so he finally knows what it is like to have a friend.
Perseverance is another theme expressed through this book. Stanley and Zero did not stop walking no matter what they encountered. This goes hand in hand with success because to be successful one can not give up. Stanley and Zero successfully returned to camp alive with what the Warden wanted all along. Of course, after the trouble they went through, they were not letting her get her hands on it. Along with the treasure, the curse was lifted, and a raindrop fell from the sky.
This specific passage is important because this is what Stanley and Zero were trying to accomplish for most of the book. When Stanley and Zero returned to camp, the counselors offered to let them both go free. Most of the other boys were happy for them because they obviously deserved it. This same idea relates to the drop of rain at the end of the book. It tells the readers that the curse was now over; searching for the treasure, the drought, and the awful stay at Camp Green Lake.
When Stanley got back home to his parents, he wanted to continue his friendship with Zero. For this reason, he helped Zero find his mother. This is symbolic because earlier in the book, when Zero ran away and Stanley left looking for him, no one came after them. “Stanley wondered if the Warden would send out a search party to look for him. It didn’t seem likely. She didn’t send anyone to look for Zero. But no one cared about Zero. The simply destroyed his files” (163). Stanley was the one person that cared about Zero, and this displays the theme of friendship.
There are many themes and significant passages in the book Holes. Bravery and perseverance are proven to be important in everyday life. The prominence of loyalty and keeping promises is emphasized, and punished with a curse. Success is shown at the end even after going through the worst to succeed. There is also an underlying message to the readers: cruelness is destructive and isolating.