Holes Questions and Answers
by Louis Sachar

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Why do you think the boys in HolesĀ spit in their holes when they are finished digging?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In chapter seven, Stanley Yelnats digs his first hole, which is supposed to measure five feet deep and five feet across. Well before Stanley finishes digging his hole, the other boys finish their work, and Stanley proceeds to watch each boy spit in their own hole before heading back to camp.

There are several explanations as to why the boys engage in this rather odd daily ritual. By spitting in their holes, the boys express their disdain for the arduous, pointless labor. Their spit is also a sign of contempt for the entire administration and facility at Camp Green Lake.

In addition to expressing their disdain for the difficult work and uncomfortable camp, the boys more than likely have excess saliva from lack of hydration, and spitting is a relieving feeling. Overall, the act of spitting in one's hole is a refreshing feeling to the boys, which also happens to express their contempt for their unfortunate situation and difficult work.

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The boys have developed their own weird little ritual. After they've finished digging a hole, they all spit into it. There are two possible reasons for this. First of all, it shows contempt for this pointless, menial chore that they're expected to carry out on a daily basis. This is hard, back-breaking work, and by spitting into the holes, the boys are showing just how much they hate all that sweat and toil.

The spitting ritual also shows us what the boys think of Camp Green Lake as a whole. (No pun intended.) They have so much hatred for the camp and all it stands for that they spit on its very soil. This is one of the few opportunities that the boys ever get to express their true feelings about this terrible, oppressive place.

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