Study Guide

Holes Chapter 4

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Chapter 4

  • Stanley gets off the bus at Camp Green Lake. He's thirsty and hot, and the camp is a barren wasteland, with only some old buildings, tents, and a couple of trees. Ick.
  • The guard takes Stanley into an air-conditioned building, where there is a man with his feet up on a desk drinking soda and eating sunflower seeds out of a burlap sack. Now that's an image. The man, who wears a cowboy hat and has a rattlesnake tattoo, says his name is Mr. Sir. He also says he's been eating sunflower seeds since he quit smoking.
  • "You're not in the Girl Scouts anymore," Mr. Sir tells Stanley (4.19).
  • Stanley is given two (identical) sets of clothes, one for work and one for rest. Each set of clothes consists of a bright orange jumpsuit, a shirt, and a cap. He's also given white sneakers and an empty plastic canteen. This sure doesn't sound like the camp Shmoop went to as a kid.
  • Laundry, Mr. Sir tells him, will be done every three days, at which point Stanley will get a new set of rest clothes, and his old rest clothes will become his work clothes.
  • Um, ew.
  • Mr. Sir also tells him that he will be expected to dig a five-foot deep, five-foot wide hole every day, and that breakfast is at 4:30 in the morning: they start early so they can be finished digging before the sun gets too high.
  • Next, Mr. Sir takes Stanley back outside and tells him to look around. He points out that there is no fence, no guard tower – nothing to keep Stanley from running away. Oh, but there's also no water for a hundred miles.
  • So yeah, if Stanley tries to run away, he'll be "buzzard food in three days" (4.43). Our not-so-lovable Sir tells Stanley to get used to being thirsty: he's going to feel that way for the next eighteen months.
  • Yikes.

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