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Pat Swenson, CSUN - Holes
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Prof Pat Swenson

Campus Email: pat.swenson@csun.edu

Elements of Fiction

Literary Theory

Myth & Archetype: The Hero's Quest

ProfPat's Main Page

ProfPat's Education Links

Department Information

Department of English

708 Sierra Tower
Phone: 818.677.3431

English Department Website

Liberal Studies Program

EA 100
Phone: 818.677.3300

Liberal Studies Website

Holes by Louis Sachar - Discussion Guide



Camp Green Lake, Texas: Stanley "Caveman" Yelnats, Hector "Zero" Zeroni, Squid (Alan), X-Ray (Rex), Magnet (Jose), Armpit (Theodore), ZigZag (Ricky), Twitch (Brian), Warden (Ms. Walker), Mr. Sir, Mr. Pendanski (Mom), Ms. Morengo, Texas Attorney General

Town of Green Lake (110 Years Ago): Katherine "Kissin' Kate" Barlow, Sam the Onion Man, Charles "Trout" Walker, Doc Hawthorn, The Sheriff, Mrs. Gladys Tennyson, Rebecca Tennyson, Hattie Parker, Linda Miller, Mary Lou the Donkey

Yelnats Clan & Misc.: Elya Yelnat, Madame Zeroni, Myra Menke, Myra's Father, Igor Barkov, Sarah Miller, Stanley's Father, Stanley's Mother, Stanley's Great Grandfather, Clyde Livingston, Zero's Mother


Person-against-self - an internal conflict of feelings.

Person-against-person - the typical protagonist vs. antagonist scenario.

Person-against-society - the protagonist battles against the larger organizations of society
(or a system of beliefs held by society).

Person-against-nature - the protagonist is threatened by a component of nature.

Themes/Symbols/Literary Strategies

Flashbacks & Foreshadowing - Chronological Plot Order, Past & Present Links and Relationships, Cause & Effect of Actions (including stealing, broken promises)

Coming of Age, Hero's Journey, Courage, Standing up to Bullies, Loyalty, Friendship, Perseverance,Survival Skills.

Redemption & Hope, Luck vs. Hard-Luck, The Family Curse

Religious Aspects: Fate & Destiny, God's Thumb (Big Thumb), Justice

Poverty & Homelessness

Absent Authority Figures (and loving parents)

Illiteracy, Importance of Learning

Racism & Prejudice

Pre-Reading/Post-Reading Activities

Social Science: Jim Crow Laws & The American South, Post Civil War Rights & Attitudes

Geography: Rural Texas, The Desert & Desertification

Science: Weather, Topography & Rock Formations, Desert Wildlife (Reptiles & Amphibians: Yellow-spotted Lizards, rattlesnakes, tarantulas)

Classroom Projects: Art, Letter Writing, Geography, Post Civil War History, Civil Rights Movement, Compare & Contrast the Novel & Film.

Visit the Holes official website for lesson plan ideas: http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/holes/index.html