Louis Sachar

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Holes: Part 1, Chapter 14 Summary & Analysis

That night, Stanley tries to figure out what he could've done differently. He decides he was absolutely in the right place at the right time, but it didn't help him at all. The next day at breakfast, he asks X-Ray if he has the tube. X-Ray feigns ignorance and eventually snaps at Stanley. Mr. Sir marches the boys to the lake a while later and as Stanley begins his hole, he can't figure out why X-Ray snapped at him. When the water truck arrives just 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 tube and says the Warden will like it. He encourages Rex to not dig too hard.
X-Ray's inexplicable behavior shows Stanley that even though he's been at camp for a few weeks, he's still the new guy and doesn't know everything. This then becomes another way for X-Ray to exert power over Stanley. When Stanley begins to notice the mountains in the distance, it suggests he's becoming more interested in or curious about the natural world around him. Per the logic of the novel, this could be in part because of the trajectory of destiny it sets out.
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Mr. Pendanski drives back to camp and returns a short while later with a tall, red-haired woman. The Warden approaches X-Ray, confirms where he found the tube, and tells Mr. Pendanski to drive X-Ray back to camp after filling the other campers' canteens. When Mr. Pendanski remarks that he just filled the canteens, the Warden softly reminds Mr. Pendanski that it's hot and "these fine boys" probably had a drink since he filled their canteens. She calls Stanley to her, calling him Caveman, and asks if he's had anything to drink since Mr. Pendanski filled his canteen. Stanley has, and the Warden tells Mr. Pendanski to follow instructions or he'll end up digging and Caveman will fill canteens.
The Warden's behavior shows that her power over the camp is far greater than that of any other adult; she even has the ability to cow Mr. Pendanski. When she calls Stanley Caveman, it suggests that she's aware that the simple kindness of learning someone's name and using it is a valuable and powerful tool: in this case, it seems to scare Stanley a bit in part because it means that she's far more involved somehow in the camp than he gave her credit for. Essentially, it begs the question of how much she does or doesn't know about her charges.
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