by Louis Sachar
Holes Theme of Power
Power definitely doesn't get a good rap in Holes. Most of the powerful people – the Warden and Mr. Pendanski, especially – abuse their power to no end. Even the boys at camp have their own little abusive power structure going on. And to top it all off, it all seems kind of random: why do these people have the power? And how do you survive in a world where power is so absolute? These are questions that Stanley grapples with. And now we'll ask you: do we ever get the answers?
Questions About Power
- Stanley figures out early on that if he's going to survive at Camp Green Lake, he'd better stay on X-Ray's good side. What are we to make of X-Ray's position as leader of D Tent? We know that he's not physically the strongest boy. Why do the other boys follow him?
- Mr. Sir and Mr. Pendanski express that power in very different ways, don't you think? Which of them do you think is more oppressive or abusive? Why?
- Is power necessarily a bad thing? Does every powerful person in the book somehow abuse his or her power?
- What are the sources of power in Holes? That is, what is it that makes people powerful?
Chew on This
X-Ray holds the boys together and keeps them going through all the tough times at Camp Green Lake. In exchange, he asks for a few understandable perks of leadership.
X-Ray is a bully who just happens to be the biggest bully in D Tent. He uses his power to exploit and control the other boys; he's really no better than the Warden.