In Holes, why do the boys always line up for water in the same order? What’s the significance of this order?

In Holes, the boys always line up for water in the same order because it is an order based on trust and loyalty. X-Ray is always at the head of the queue because he's the unofficial leader of the boys at D tent. This is a sign of the respect that he has earned from the other boys.

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Despite being an unruly bunch of young tearaways, the boys of D tent are remarkably well-ordered when it comes to lining up for water. This is all the more remarkable given the searing desert heat that they have to endure on a daily basis. Under the circumstances, you'd think that forming an orderly queue is the last thing they'd ever do.

And yet the boys defy all our expectations and prejudices by lining up to get their water in the exact same order. The reason for this is that there's a distinct pecking order among the boys, with those at the front of the water queue enjoying higher status than those at the back. The order in which the boys form the queue is based on mutual trust and loyalty. The boys may not have much at Camp Green Lake, but trust and loyalty are things that they do have, and they are prepared to hold onto them at all costs.

At the front of the queue, appropriately enough, is the unofficial head boy of D tent: X-Ray. Despite his diminutive stature, he has earned the respect of all the others during the time he's been at Camp Green Lake. That's why he gets to be at the front of the queue. In order to get closer to him, it's necessary to work hard to gain the others' trust and loyalty, and this can take quite a long time.

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