What are three morals in Holes?

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mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the book Holes, we are introduced to Stanley, a young boy sent to a camp after being charged with a crime he didn't commit. The book takes us on an emotional journey of heartache, gypsy curses, buried treasure and eventually redemption. There are several morals in the story, but I think the three that stand out to me are: our perception of luck and fate, the horrible tragedy that was racism, and the beautiful ability of friendship. In the book we are taken through several different stories that all tie in to what Stanley is going through.

We see the moral of fate and luck with Stanley's great-great grandfather, Elya Yelnats. He befriended a gypsy who offered him a pig, and the deal was when the pig got older, Elya would carry the gypsy up a mountain. The gypsy, Madame Zeroni, had only one leg and couldn't make the trip on her own. Elya became charmed by a woman he thought he loved. When he found out the woman didn't love him, he forgot about his promise to Madame Zeroni and left for America. It is said that Madame Zeroni put a curse on Elya and his family. Some members of the family continued to believe in the curse, while others thought it wasn't real. 

"A lot of people don't believe in curses. A lot of people don't believe in yellow-spotted lizards either, but if one bites you, it doesn't make a difference whether you believe it or not."

We then are introduced to Kate and Sam. Kate was a school teacher who was in love with Sam, who was a black man. Sam sold onions for a living. This was during the time, where it was illegal to even kiss a black person, and since Kate had kissed Sam, the town turned against them. The two were going to escape, but were caught and Sam was killed. Kate went mad and became known as Kissin' Kate; she would rob and kill people. She robbed Stanley's great grandfather and stole his fortune. The grandfather survived but never found his fortune. It is believed to be buried in the ground where the camp now sits. 

Stanley and Zero have become the best of friends. They are both at the camp, and they spend their days digging holes, looking for the lost buried treasure. The two boys' friendship helps them survive the harsh conditions of the camp. They are there for each other and support each other. It is a beautiful friendship and they end up finding a suitcase that has several important things from Stanley's great grandfather. It is also revealed that Zero is the great-great-great grandson of Madame Zeroni. By the two boys forming such a strong friendship and being true to each other, the curse has now been broken.

The morals we learn are that we need to keep our word to people, we need to not be so judgmental about other people and we need to cherish the wonderful friendships that we have.

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