Holes Questions and Answers
by Louis Sachar

Start Your Free Trial

How much do you think Stanley is influenced by his peers at Camp Green Lake? Answer with your knowledge of chapters 1–12 of Holes

In Holes, Stanley is strongly influenced by several peers at Camp Green Lake. This influence ranges from physical abuse to offering guidance that will improve his chances of survival. In Chapters 1–12, he is shown as quickly developing a sense of the hierarchy among the boys and starting to earn others’ respect. Armpit and X-Ray show him the ropes, and X-Ray helps him understand the relationship between status and length of residence.

Expert Answers info

Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write5,718 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In Louis Sachar’s novel Holes, Stanley Yelnats falls under the influence of several fellow residents at Camp Green Lake. Because he is new and not physically strong, Stanley recognizes by the end of the first day how much he is dependent on the existing social structure. The others teach him through physical violence, demonstrating correct methods, providing verbal encouragement, and offering support against bullies.

At the beginning of his stay, Stanley is uncomfortable and fearful. When Armpit attacks him for using his real name, Theodore, Stanley quickly learns that nicknames are standard and that physical violence is common. The next day, he first realizes that the others, including Armpit, have shown begun to accept him. Armpit and X-Ray bestow the nickname of Caveman on him when they take his side in an argument. By showing solidarity with the others, Stanley gains their respect.

The adult authorities exert considerable power over the boys, so Stanley agrees to help the more established residents earn the points that accrue from finding valuable objects. X-Ray explains this system and requests that Stanley support him by giving him credit for items that Stanley discovers. This lesson emphasizes the status that boys gain through their longevity in the system.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial