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by Louis Sachar

Holes Theme of Transformation

Ch ch ch ch changes. It's pretty much inevitable that in a book about teenagers we'll see some major changes. We all know the growing-up drill, right? Well, in Holes, Stanley and the other boys are put in a pretty extreme environment that causes them to change even more quickly and drastically. And don't forget that transformations can take all forms in literature: emotional, physical, behavioral… the list goes on. All of these kinds of changes pop up in Holes, so keep your eye out as you read, and let us know what you find.

Questions About Transformation

  1. Is transformation always a good thing in Holes? Give some examples to back up your answer.
  2. What's the relationship between external (physical) transformation and internal (emotional or moral) transformation in the book? Do they always go together? Can you have one without the other?
  3. Our boy Stanley definitely goes through some major transformations. Bu what is the first indication we see that Stanley's sense of himself may be changing?
  4. The character of Kate Barlow travels a long way in her transformation from Miss Katherine, the sweet, caring schoolteacher, to Kissin' Kate, the murderous outlaw. Do you find the transformation believable? If not, how does it affect your attitude toward the story? Do characters always have to be believable?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Dramatic transformations in the book are always caused by external forces, but gradual transformations always come from within. Deep, we know.

In Holes, the characters who change are the ones who survive; characters that can't adapt to changing circumstances are doomed to failure.

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