Holes

Holes

by

Louis Sachar

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Holes: Part 1, Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Because of the scarcity of water, campers are only allowed to take cold four-minute showers. Stanley uses his four minutes getting used to the water. At dinner, another camper asks Stanley what he did to end up at Camp Green Lake. The boy doesn't believe Stanley when he says he stole Clyde Livingston's sneakers. Stanley thinks it's funny that nobody believes anything he says about his "crime"—nobody believed him either when he said he didn't steal them.
The fact that nobody believes Stanley when he says anything about his crime reinforces the novel's insistence that the formal justice system is somewhat absurd; this suggests that the absurdity of Stanley's story essentially renders the justice system unable to function effectively.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Clyde "Sweet Feet" Livingston is a famous baseball player whom Stanley idolized; he had a poster of him on his wall until the police took it away as evidence. When Stanley learned that Livingston would be at his hearing, he was excited to meet his hero. Livingston testified that he'd donated his shoes to raise money for a local homeless shelter. The worst part for Stanley was that Livingston stated that Stanley must be a horrible person to steal from homeless children. Stanley mulls this over as he carefully turns on his cot, hoping it won't collapse under his weight.
Stanley's optimism and positive outlook on life shines through when the narrator says he was excited to get to meet Clyde Livingston; it appears as though it's possibly part of the family curse when Livingston then calls Stanley a terrible person. This also shows how Livingston, who is wealthy and famous, feels as though he has the power to say this sort of thing to an innocent teenager.
Themes
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
At school, a bully named Derrick Dunne tormented Stanley regularly and the teachers did nothing. The day that Stanley was arrested, Derrick had dropped Stanley's notebook in the toilet. Poor Stanley missed the bus while he was fishing it out and was walking home from school when the sneakers fell from the sky. Stanley took it as a sign and raced home with the smelly shoes to his father, though he was arrested before he got home. He only found out later what the shoes were for and who they belonged to.
Again, that Stanley's first thought when the shoes fall from the sky is of his dad shows that even as Stanley is consistently bullied, he still has a good heart and wants to do nice things for others—the justice system just gets in the way. This shows up too when the teachers do nothing about Derrick's bullying.
Themes
Cruelty vs. Kindness Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
Because of Clyde Livingston's baseball schedule, the trial was delayed for more than a month. Stanley's parents couldn't afford to hire a lawyer and this proved damning: the judge didn't believe the shoes fell from the sky. He suggested that Stanley agree to go to Camp Green Lake instead of prison and encouraged Stanley's parents to make a quick decision, saying that vacancies don't last long there.
When the judge pressures Stanley and his family into making a quick decision, it again shows how Stanley's family's poor economic standing disadvantages them. Being able to afford a lawyer would've meant that Stanley could've made a more informed decision.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Power, Money, and Education Theme Icon
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