Holes

Holes

by

Louis Sachar

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Mr. Pendanski Character Analysis

Mr. Pendanski is the Tent D counselor. He's relatively young and wears a buzz cut, but he also has a thick curly beard. The Tent D boys refer to him as “Mom,” which he allows. He does, however, make a point to call his charges by their given names. He often attempts to give them pep talks and inspirational speeches about personal responsibility and life after Camp Green Lake. Of all the named authority figures, Mr. Pendanski is by far the kindest; he gives Stanley extra water when he realizes Mr. Sir is depriving Stanley and even offers to give Stanley a ride back to camp after his first day digging. Despite these positive qualities, Mr. Pendanski also thinks very little of Zero and is constantly cruel to him. He insists that Zero has nothing to offer, is unable to learn, and is only good for digging holes. This culminates in Zero hitting Mr. Pendanski across the face with a shovel. Later, Mr. Pendanski is complicit in destroying Zero's records. It's unclear what fate befalls Mr. Pendanski after the camp shuts down.

Mr. Pendanski Quotes in Holes

The Holes quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Pendanski or refer to Mr. Pendanski. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Holes published in 1998.
Part 1, Chapter 7 Quotes

Stanley waited for him to drive away, then took another look at his hole. He knew it was nothing to be proud of, but he felt proud nonetheless.

He sucked up his last bit of saliva and spat.

Related Characters: Stanley Yelnats, Mr. Pendanski
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1, Chapter 27 Quotes

Fortunately, Mr. Pendanski delivered the water more often than Mr. Sir. Mr. Pendanski was obviously aware of what Mr. Sir was doing, because he always gave Stanley a little extra. He'd fill Stanley's canteen, then let Stanley take a long drink, then top it off for him.

Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 30 Quotes

"He's a genius, all right!" said Mr. Pendanski. "He's so stupid, he doesn't even know he's stupid."

Stanley didn't know why Mr. Pendanski seemed to have it in for Zero. If Mr. Pendanski only thought about it, he'd realize it was very logical for Zero to think that the letter "h" made the "ch" sound.

Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 31 Quotes

"I don't think I can erase him completely from all the state files, said Mr. Pendanski. "Too many cross-references. But I can so make it so it would be very difficult for anyone to ever find a record of him. Like I said, though, no one will ever look. No one cares about Hector Zeroni."

"Good," said the Warden.

Related Characters: The Warden (speaker), Mr. Pendanski (speaker), Stanley Yelnats, Zero/Hector Zeroni, Mr. Sir
Page Number: 144
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 47 Quotes

"It's got his name on it," said Zero.

Stanley's lawyer pushed past the tall man to have a look.

"See," Zero showed her. "Stanley Yelnats."

Stanley looked, too. There, in big black letters, was STANLEY YELNATS.

Page Number: 216
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Holes LitChart as a printable PDF.
Holes PDF

Mr. Pendanski Character Timeline in Holes

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Pendanski appears in Holes. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 5
Justice Theme Icon
Stanley is assigned to D tent and meets his counselor, Mr. Pendanski . He doesn't look nearly as scary as Mr. Sir, though he assures Stanley that... (full context)
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
Two boys, caked in dirt and dripping with sweat, enter the compound. Mr. Pendanski calls them over and they're so dirty that Stanley can barely tell that one boy... (full context)
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Mr. Pendanski gives the campers a speech about taking care of Stanley and then leaves. The other... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...helplessly watches Zero, who already has a large pile of dirt next to his hole. Mr. Pendanski had told Stanley to report anything "interesting or unusual" to him, as interesting finds earn... (full context)
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
At lunchtime, Mr. Pendanski drives the water truck out with sack lunches. While the boys eat, Magnet assures Stanley... (full context)
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
...water truck his hole. Stanley has to dig himself steps to climb out and discovers Mr. Pendanski , out to check on him. Mr. Pendanski asks for a high-five, but Stanley doesn't... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 10
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...the same order: X-Ray first, then Armpit, Squid, Zigzag, Magnet, Zero, and finally Stanley. When Mr. Pendanski fills Stanley's canteen, Stanley hands over the fossil and points out the fish. Mr. Pendanski... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 12
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...again the last boy to finish digging. When he arrives at Tent D, he finds Mr. Pendanski and the other boys sitting in a circle. Mr. Pendanski invites Stanley to join their... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
When X-Ray laughs at Magnet, Mr. Pendanski insists they "don't laugh at people's dreams" and points out that someone has to train... (full context)
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
Mr. Pendanski turns to Stanley, comments on his new nickname, and asks Stanley who's responsible for landing... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 13
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...shotgun shell, but Magnet insists it's too long. Stanley suggests that X-Ray wait to show Mr. Pendanski until the next day so he can have a whole day off, not just an... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 14
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...after sunrise, Stanley notices the mountains in the distance before getting in line. Just as Mr. Pendanski is about to drive away, X-Ray yells that he found something. Mr. Pendanski examines the... (full context)
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
Mr. Pendanski drives back to camp and returns a short while later with a tall, red-haired woman.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 15
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
After Mr. Pendanski fills canteens, the Warden picks through X-Ray's pile of dirt with a pitchfork. She asks... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 16
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
...could tell the Warden where the tube actually came from. As he's turning it over, Mr. Pendanski comes into the Wreck Room with a letter for Stanley. Squid gives Stanley a hard... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 17
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...into the hole and leaving three bloody spots on his chest. The Warden also tells Mr. Pendanski that he's giving the boys too much water. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 27
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
...drink of water. Mr. Sir has continued to dump Stanley's water on the ground, though Mr. Pendanski has been making a point to give Stanley extra. It also helps to have Zero... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 30
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
...digging Stanley's hole for him. Stanley does his best to deflect and play along. When Mr. Pendanski arrives for lunch, X-Ray makes Stanley get in line first, insisting that Stanley is better... (full context)
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
...he doesn't want trouble as he carefully steps backwards around the holes. He's relieved when Mr. Pendanski walks over, but is shocked when Mr. Pendanski tells him to hit Zigzag to "teach... (full context)
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
...Zero with an arm around Zigzag's neck, choking him. Zero refuses to stop, even when Mr. Pendanski shouts. Armpit runs into the fray as Mr. Pendanski fires his pistol, and the boys... (full context)
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
...holes. The Warden turns on Zero and asks him to share what he learned yesterday. Mr. Pendanski laughs and suggests that it'd be easier to teach a shovel to read, though Zero... (full context)
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...ignores. Stanley asks why he can't teach Zero to read anyway, and the Warden and Mr. Pendanski insist that the reading leads to trouble and that Zero is too stupid to learn... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 31
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
...When Stanley returns to his tent after digging, he finds the Warden, Mr. Sir, and Mr. Pendanski waiting for him. They want to know where Zero is, but Stanley honestly doesn't know.... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 45
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
Mr. Pendanski shines the flashlight on Zero, who sits with the suitcase on his lap. Mr. Sir... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 46
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
Several hours later, Zero and Stanley are still alive. As a lizard springs towards Mr. Pendanski , Mr. Sir shoots it and then lights a cigarette. Mr. Pendanski suggests they shoot... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...hole, and the lizards got him. She says they won't even give "them" Zero's body. Mr. Pendanski notes that it doesn't make sense for Stanley to run if he knew he was... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 47
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
A short while later, Mr. Pendanski leads a short woman and a tall man in a suit to the hole. When... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 48
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
...holds his suitcase, so tired he can barely speak. Mr. Sir fetches Stanley's belongings while Mr. Pendanski grabs Stanley and Zero food. Ms. Morengo assures Stanley that he'll see his parents soon.... (full context)
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...turns around to look at Zero and says he can't leave Hector. Zero looks from Mr. Pendanski to the Warden and Mr. Sir, insisting he'll be fine. Stanley insists that the Warden... (full context)