What is the main conflict in Holes and its resolution?

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The main conflict in Holes is the internal conflict faced by Stanley. At the beginning of the story, Stanley is too fearful to face his problems, but over the course of the novel, he becomes a stronger, more confident person. The key to resolving the external conflicts in the novel, like the Yelnats family curse, lies in Stanley's ability to find his courage.

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While external conflicts like the Yelnats family curse and Stanley's false accusation are certainly important elements of Louis Sachar's novel Holes, the primary conflict of the story is actually within Stanley himself.

At the beginning of the novel, Stanley is a coward who continually runs away from his problems. He runs from the bullies at school. He runs from the difficulties in his family. He runs from being overweight. He runs and runs and runs until finally he is caught up in a conflict beyond his control when he is accused of a crime he didn't commit.

At that point, Stanley has to stop running. When he arrives at Camp Green Lake, Stanley is challenged like he never has been before, and he has to deal with it. As he digs, his body grows stronger. As he interacts with the other boys, he learns about friendship, loyalty, and courage—as well as betrayal and rivalry. As he faces the camp's warden and staff, he discovers how to stand up for himself and for what is right, even if he must accept the consequences.

Stanley's ultimate challenge, however, comes when he follows Zero into the desert. He finds and cares for his friend, even carrying him up the mountain, something the old Stanley would never have had the courage or strength to do. When he and Zero are covered in lizards, Stanley somehow has the courage to move and climb out of that hole. He even stands up to the warden and helps rescue Zero from her clutches.

While Stanley is still not perfect by the end of the book (after all, who is?), he has grown tremendously. He has conquered his fears. He has discovered strength and courage that he never knew he had. He has found a friend. And Stanley no longer has to run.

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One of the major conflicts of Holes is that Stanley Yelnats firmly believes that his family has been cursed for generations. Apparently, it all started when his great-great father broke a promise to a gypsy called Madame Zeroni and left her behind to go to America.

As far as Stanley's concerned, this accounts for all the bad luck that his family has endured over the years. The latest piece of bad luck to hit the Yelnats family is Stanley's incarceration at the Camp Green Lake facility for the theft of a pair of shoes, a crime he didn't commit.

In due course, however, Stanley will break the “curse” and resolve the conflict that has dogged his family for generations. He does this by forging a very special bond with Zero, a fellow inmate of Camp Green Lake.

This bond can be observed most clearly when Stanley and Zero run away from camp together. During their escape bid, the boys become very close and help each other. At one point, Stanley helps Zero by carrying him up a mountain just as his great-great-grandfather was supposed to do with Madame Zeroni many years before.

As it turns out, Zero is a direct descendant of Madame Zeroni. In carrying him to the top of the mountain, Stanley is breaking the curse put upon his family. This brings to an end the conflict that has dogged the Yelnats family for so many years.

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A major conflict in the book Holes is that Stanley is sent to prison for something he did not do. This conflict is resolved when he helps shut down Camp Green Lake and discovers who really took the shoes.

A conflict is a struggle between opposing forces. In this case, Stanley faces a character vs. society conflict over being sent to prison for something he does not do (and being cursed).

There are different conflicts in the book in different time periods, but all are interconnected. You could say that the overall main conflict is that Stanley’s family is cursed, and he broke the curse when he carried Zero up the mountain. More practically, the main conflict is that Stanley is accused of stealing a famous ball player’s sneakers and sent to Camp Green Lake.

Camp Green Lake is an abusive place. The warden is a sociopath, and her employees are either clueless or sadistic. Stanley can do nothing but try to make the most of his time there. It is not until he befriends Zero and then runs away with him that he realizes Zero is actually the one who took the shoes, because he was homeless and just needed good shoes. He did not keep the shoes because they smelled bad.

“I should have just kept them,” said Zero. “I’d already made it out of the shelter and everything. I ended up getting arrested the next day when I tried to walk out of a shoe store with a new pair of sneakers….” (ch 41)

Zero just thought he was taking an old pair of shoes. He did not know they belonged to a famous person. Zero never intended to be bad. He just took what he needed, because that is what you have to do to survive when you live on the street.

Stanley found out the long-standing connection between his family and Zero’s, and broke the curse. He also freed Zero from the never-ending prison of Camp Green Lake, and shut the camp down and the warden as well.

With this conflict and the others, Sachar is demonstrating one of the major themes of the book--that everything is inter-related. One thing can have long-standing consequences that you don't expect, and the past always affects the present.

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