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Analysis

Literary Devices in Holes

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

Some of the best things in life come in threes: Musketeers, Blind Mice, Stooges – the list goes on. Another fun set of three is the setting in Holes. The main part of the story, of course, takes...

Narrator Point of View

The World as Stanley Sees ItThis one's a little tricky. For the most part, we have a narrator who knows everything there is to know about what's happening with Stanley, but not much else. Although...

Genre

Given the number of awards Holes has won in the field of children's literature, it's pretty much a no-brainer that the book qualifies for that genre. But even if we couldn't figure it out from all...

Tone

Far, Far AwayDetached, we say? Why yes, we do. This isn't a harsh judgment, it's just the way it is. Most of the time, the events of the story are simply related to the reader in a straightforward...

Writing Style

How is Stanley Feeling?Holes doesn't try to give us any big challenges. Sentences tend to be short and to the point, giving us just the information we need and no more. Oh, and there is very little...

What's Up With the Title?

Let's see… the book is called Holes and it's about, well, holes. What a coincidence. But really, Shmoop doesn't think the title is anything really tricky or fancy. It's just Sachar's way of point...

What's Up With the Ending?

This is no Inception. Not even close. The last chapter of Holes actually ties everything up pretty nicely for the reader. The good get the goods and the bad, well, they get their comeuppance. So fa...

Tough-o-Meter

Although Holes is full of big questions about fate and justice and stuff like that, there really isn't anything in the book that makes reading it too tricky or difficult. The style is pretty straig...

Plot Analysis

He's Just a Poor Boy from a Poor FamilyStanley has already been arrested when we first meet him, but the story really begins before his arrest. Stanley is overweight, isolated, and unhappy. His par...

Trivia

As intentional as writers may be, they're not always on their game. When Sachar was working on an early draft of the book, he didn't want to take the trouble to come up with a last name for his mai...

Allusions

The only real shout-outs in Holes come from the poetry that Miss Katherine and Sam share while he is working on the schoolhouse (25.25). It's pretty sweet stuff. The book mentions two poets in part...
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