Holes

Holes

by

Louis Sachar

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Though Zero's mother is described as being quite young, she looks older than she is and as though she's seen a number of unpleasant things in her life. Zero begins to tell Stanley about her as he recovers on God's Thumb. He recounts memories of her singing the same lullaby that Stanley's family has passed down for generations. She and Zero became homeless when Zero was very small, and she would often leave him places when she went to do things alone. Though it's unclear what exactly happened or when it happened, she abandoned him at a playground. After Zero gets money from the first Stanley's suitcase, he hires private investigators to find her and succeeds.

Zero's Mother Quotes in Holes

The Holes quotes below are all either spoken by Zero's Mother or refer to Zero's Mother. 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 2, Chapter 41 Quotes

"I didn't go to the homeless shelter very often," Zero said. "Just if the weather was really bad. I'd have to find someone to pretend to be my mom. If I'd just gone by myself, they would have asked me a bunch of questions. If they'd found out I didn't have a mom, they would have made me a ward of the state."

"What's a ward of the state?"

Zero smiled. "I don't know. But I didn't like the sound of it."

Related Characters: Stanley Yelnats (speaker), Zero/Hector Zeroni (speaker), Zero's Mother
Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 43 Quotes

"Then later a boy asked me if I wanted a piece of cake, but then that same mother told me, 'Go away!' and she told all the kids to stay away from me, so I never got the piece of cake. I ran away so fast, I forgot Jaffy."

"Did you ever find him—it?"

For a moment, Zero didn't answer. Then he said, "He wasn't real."

Related Characters: Stanley Yelnats (speaker), Zero/Hector Zeroni (speaker), Zero's Mother
Page Number: 195
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Holes LitChart as a printable PDF.
Holes PDF

Zero's Mother Character Timeline in Holes

The timeline below shows where the character Zero's Mother appears in Holes. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 43
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Zero says that he has no idea why Zero's mother left him. As Zero talks, Stanley thinks that Zero is explaining this to himself more... (full context)
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
Zero continues his story as they walk. He says that once, a few weeks after Zero's mother left, some kids about his age had a birthday party at the park. One girl... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 50
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...a youngish woman. She looks weathered and weary, as though she's seen too much. As Hector's mother runs her fingers through Hector's hair, she sings a song her grandmother used to sing... (full context)