Analysis Of Stanley’s Character Development In The Novel Holes

What do holes, crime, and boys have in common? These are the context for the novel Holes by Louis Sachar. This story is about a boy named Stanley that survives in a dangerous camp he was sent to despite the fact that he is innocent. Through the novel Stanley, the main character undergoes changes. This essay will show how Stanley transitions from a hopeless character at the beginning to a brave and hopeful character at the end.

When Stanley first arrives at the camp he is hopeless and doesn’t want to tell the camp counselors he’s innocent because he tried in the past to prove his opinion and failed. After that, he never tries again. He thought his fate was driven due to his family’s curse. He talks about his great-great-grandfather, Elya Yelnats, and his Madam Zeroni. Stanley thinks that the curse begin when they met. So eventually he thought his situation wouldn’t improve or might get worse because of great-great grandfather’s curse. Because of this Stanley felt miserable about his life. Stanley was sent to the camp because police thought Stanley stole a pair of shoes, even though stealing shoes isn’t such a bad crime compared to others. But, his Dad didn’t have money to hire a lawyer and to prove he was innocent. He couldn’t understand why he should stay in the camp and dig holes. Camp Green Lake was a cruel place that made Stanley miserable. When he just arrived, the director of the camp told Stanley “this isn’t a girl scout camp”, and warns him he will die if he tries to run away. Furthermore, he should dig a big hole that is bigger than him every day. This was exceptionally hard for him and made him physically and mentally sick.

After a few months at camp, Stanley becomes adventurous and ambitious. He decides to make a plan to escape with his best friend Zero. Zero was an important and significant friend to Stanley. Zero had helped Stanley lift his spirits when he was depressed. Zero coudn’t read so Stanley taught him how to read to repay the kindness. As an extra consolation he decides to take Zero with him to escape. The harsh environment pushes Stanley to take on an adventurous spirit. He thought that if he escaped the situation couldn't be worse than in the camp. So he makes a bold decision to escape and that illustrates how adventurous he is. As he becomes adventurous he also becomes very brave. “Soon they were walking in the long thin shadow of the thumb. ‘We're almost there,’ said Stanley. He could see the base of the mountain. Now that they really were almost there, it scared him”. Escaping in the desert is extremely dangerous. There are many dangerous factors like gettinglost in the desert, dieing of thirst and getting stung by yellow-spotted lizard which can kill people very painfully. Most people can’t muster up the courage to escape even if they are brave. But, Stanley escaped and survived seventeen days even though he fails and returns to the camp. Stanley risks his life because to escape. This in extreme example of bravery.

After returning to the camp Stanley becomes hopeful despite his failed escape attempt. While Stanley and Zero were in the mountains Stanley sings a song and he believes that it breaks the curse of his family. Soon his imagination became a reality. His dad earns enough money to hire Ms.Morengo to prove he is innocent. Stanley was so pleased that to leave camp and see his parents. “It occurred to him that he couldn't remember the last time he felt happiness. It wasn't just being sent to Camp Green Lake that had made his life miserable ... he didn't especially like himself. He liked himself now”. But on the other hand, he was worried about his friends because they helped each other to survive. Stanley felt bad it was only him leaving. He said 'They'll kill him'  and wanted to rescue all the friends.

Sometimes change happens in the worst of times. In this story, Stanley transforms from hopeless to adventurous and hopeful in a dangerous and harsh camp. Early on Stanley is hopeless and without faith in life. Afterwards he gains courage despite the hard life of the camp. By the end he becomes hopeful after he leaves the camp that his life can be different. There are times when there are hard times in life, but when you get over them and stand up, you can become a better person.  

16 December 2021
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