What are the main events in Holes?

Some of the main events in Holes are Stanley's arrival and Camp Green Lake, Stanley finding a gold tube and giving it to X-Ray, and Stanley leaving to rescue Zero.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

While it is possible to give a chronological main-events list for Stanley's experiences in Holes , that would leave out large sequences of important flashbacks. As an example, the Elya, Madame Zeroni, and pig sequence explains why Stanley believes that his family is cursed as well as his connection to...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

While it is possible to give a chronological main-events list for Stanley's experiences in Holes, that would leave out large sequences of important flashbacks. As an example, the Elya, Madame Zeroni, and pig sequence explains why Stanley believes that his family is cursed as well as his connection to Zero.

Another sequence of events that happened in the past but that I would consider "main events" to the overall book are the Kate Barlow sequences that explain her romance with Sam. Sam's death turned Kate Barlow from schoolteacher to outlaw. She was eventually captured by Trout Walker, who wanted to torture Kate in order to find out where the treasure was. Kate didn't reveal the location, but Walker and his wife believed it was in the dried up lake bed.

Starting with Stanley's time in the novel, I would say that the first "main event" is his arrival at Camp Green Lake. Stanley and readers quickly find out that there is nothing green or fun at this particular juvenile-delinquent–rehabilitation camp. Stanley meets the wardens and the other boys that he shares a cabin with, and Stanley finds out that his job every day is to dig holes of a specific size. Finding anything of interest will earn him time off. Stanley finds a tube with the initials K. B. on it, and he gives it to X-Ray. The consequence is that more search holes are dug near and around where X-Ray was digging. Stanley correctly figures out that the warden is looking for the Kate Barlow treasure.

Another main part is Stanley agreeing to teach Zero to read in exchange for Zero digging half of Stanley's holes each day. This further cements their friendship and connection. The warden isn't happy with this agreement between the boys, and Zero runs away in response. Stanley escapes to track down Zero and rescue him. Stanley finds Zero under an old boat surviving on something he calls "sploosh." Stanley and Zero then make their way up the nearby mountain, and Stanley is forced to carry Zero much of the way. This action relates to the earlier curse that Madame Zeroni put on Elya. At the top of the mountain, Zero reveals that it was him that stole the sneakers that got Stanley in trouble.

Stanley and Zero then return to the camp, and they dig up a suitcase that contains the treasure. The suitcase also has Stanley's name on it. Stanley's lawyer arrives the next day with proof that Stanley is innocent, so Stanley is allowed to leave the camp with "his" suitcase.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on