Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Holes

Stanley Yelnats is a boy who has been sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention camp because he is accused of stealing a pair of shoes. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and he believes his family's curse has something to do with it. Stanley's great-great grandfather, Elya Yelnats, got a pig from Madame Zeroni, a gypsy, in exchange that when the pig grows bigger and he grows stronger he would carry Madame Zeroni, who only has one leg, up a mountain. He forgot to do this so he believes the curse was because he failed to fulfill his committment. At the camp, the boys are forced to dig holes for character, so says the warden but really the warden is looking for specific items from the past. 100 years before Stanley arrived at Camp Green Lake, the school teacher, Katherine Barlow, falls in love with the onion seller, Sam. It is against the law for a black man to kiss a white women, so when the towns people find out that Sam kissed Katherine, they become outraged. Trout Walker is the richest man in town and has been in love with Katherine for sometime, but she doesnt feel the same way. He becomes angry that Sam and Katherine are in love and he burns down her school house and kills Sam. Katherine becomes furious and eventually becomes Kissin' Kate Barlow. She kisses the men she kills leaving a lipstick mark on their face. Kate robs Stanley's great grandfather's money and she buried it and died before anyone knew where it was. The day after Sam was killed, rain stopped falling and the lake became dried up. When Stanley is digging he finds a lipstick tube, with the initials of KB for kissing Kate Barlow. The warden becomes very interested because she was a descendent. Eventually Stanley's friend Zero runs away so Stanley goes off to find him. They both head to the top of the mountain, where they find Sam's old onion patch. They live off of onions for about a week, and decide to go back and dig one more time for the treasure. They eventually dig up the treasure and the warden tries to take it but they realize Stanley's name is on it and its his. At the end of the book is seems as if the curse has been lifted and things work out from there.


1. In the book, Stanley's family believe they have a curse, but by the end of the book the curse is gone. Do you believe there are really curses in the world or do you believe there are just coincidences?

2. While at Camp Green Lake Stanley does a lot of phyical labor, and by the end of the book, he not only becomes stronger but also mentally tough. Do you believe hard work pays off?

13 comments:

Deanna K 5-6 said...

1. No, I don't believe there are such things as curses. Curses are just superstitions, so yes, I believe they are just coincidences.

2. Yes, I believe hard work pays off. Stanley is the perfect example of this. He works extremely hard digging holes and the life this curse, and he achieves his goals. Without his hard work, he wouldn't have been able to do what he wanted to do. I think hard work really does pay off in the end.

Betsy C 1314 said...

I also believe that the curse is just a frame of mind. With everybody in the family having bad luck, the rest just expect bad things to happen. Once Stanley has good luck, the rest realize that they too can stop expecting bad things from happening, by simply having an open mind.

I believe that hard work pays off. Most of the family, Stanley included, often gave up before good things could happen to them. Stanley didn't quit and eventually succeeded.

Kaitlyn H 11-12 said...

1. I don't believe in curses either. If you're pessimistic about the turnout of everything, than chances are that they will end up bad.

2. Yes, hard work pays off. If one really strives to be better and gives it their all, they'll usually be happy with their results.

Kali D. 13-14 said...

yes i agree with all of you. I don't believe in curses, i just think people look at the bad things in life and try to make excuses for them. Since everyone in their family had bad luck, it was just expected for Stanley to have bad luck to, but instead of believing this, he tried to change his state of mind.

Kali D. 13-14 said...

I also believe hard work pays off. You will never get anywhere in life, if you take the easy way out, and Stanley certainly worked hard. He never gave up and eventually it turned out good for him in the end.

Brad S 11-12 said...

1.I don't believe that there are curses, but i do think that people's imaginations do process the idea of there being curses, and with those curses come consequences which help shape the life of everyone. By thinking of there being a curse, there is no room for development and growth. People assume that there are curses so they give up on trying to do something because the imaginary curse is preventing them from doing so.

2. I believe that if you do work hard then yes, it will pay off and you can achieve anything you want.

Leah A 5-6 said...

1. I also don't believe in curses. I believe that some people's minds process coincidences as a curse. So, I do believe in coincidences.

2. I believe that hard physical labor pays off. In the story, Stanley works hard to build character. I believe that working hard for something can help you throughout your life.

Julie S. 5-6 said...

1. I personally don't believe in curses. I think that people read too much into coincidences.

2. Hard work does pay off both physically and emotionally. It gives the boys time to think about their lives and an idea of how hard it is to pay for mistakes.

McKenzieM 11-12 said...

1. I don't believe in curses at all,either. I think that it's all in your head, if you want to be pessimistic, and think you do have a curse, then you'll never achieve anything. I think believing you have a curse is just an excuse to stop trying.
2. I definitely agree that hard work pays off no matter what the situation. Going somewhere like
Camp Green Lake makes you realize who you can be, and what you're capable of.

Jacob B 11-12 said...

I dont believe in curses either. Some people are pessimistic and always believe bad things will happen to them. when this happens it is easy to believe bad things will happen because you are always looking for them to happen.

James F (11-12) said...

There is no such thing as a curse. this world is filled with instances of bad luck and unfortunate coincidences. like the saying its a small world. things happen unexpectedly and sometimes it relates to other people.

of course hard work pays off. without a strong work ethic nothing could be accomplished in life. if stanley for instance didnt work as hard as he did than he wouldnt have ended up rich with friends.

Dana G. 13-14 said...

I think that there are not curses in the world. If a curse is cast against someone, then a person will recognize "symptoms" very easily, making it seem like it is true. In reality, they are just noticing the everyday situations and evaluating them more, and possibly over-thinking the problem.

Hayley D 11/12 said...

I agree with what everyone has said. I feel that curses aren't real, they are only real in that person's mind. Also, I feel that hard work does pay off, no matter what. And even if things don't work out the way you expected them to, you at least know that you tried your very best; and to me, that is enough of a pay off in my eyes.