Holes' Plot Holes

Holes is a classic novel. I read it in Sixth Grade, and I was impressed with how clever it was. Watching the movie based on the book…it’s an excellent adaptation. We are SO blessed that the Richard Kelly script was scrapped.

However, there’s a pretty major plot hole (for lack of a better term). It’s Zero’s confession that he stole Clyde Livingston’s shoes and in turn caused Stanley to be sent to Camp Green Lake. What’s presented to us is that Zero saw the shoes on a table and thought they were being donated to his foster home, so he took them. When the cops chased after him, he threw the shoes over the side of a bridge, and the shoes hit Stanley (who was walking underneath). Since Stanley was in possession of the shoes, he was suspected to be the thief. But he and Zero both get sent to Camp Green Lake. This leads to several problems.

1.) When Stanley arrives at Camp Green Lake, Zero is already there. And from the way Mr. Pendanski and the other boys talk about Zero, it sounds like he’s been there for ages. Mr. Pendanski-who calls the other boys by their real names (he calls Armpit Theodore, he calls Squid Alan, and so on)-calls Hector Zero because “there’s nothing in his head.” That’s only plausible of Zero was at the camp for a little while, and his personality is ingrained into everybody’s minds. Granted, if Zero was sent directly to Camp Green Lake, and Stanley was on trial for some time, then I could let this one slide. But that leads to the next problem.

2.) Stanley and Zero are both being punished for the same crime, right? If that’s the case, then why was one sent to Camp Green Lake before the other? With Zero’s case, the police saw that he stole the shoes, they chased him, they caught him just after he got rid of the shoes. With Stanley, he was found with the stolen shoes, and…well, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. If the police thought that Stanley was Zero’s accomplice or something like that, then you’d think they would both be in court together. But instead, they apparently arrested Zero, sent him to Camp Green Lake, forgot all about it, accused Stanley, and decided to put him on trial for the same crime. Why all that? They had two suspects; why couldn’t they just investigate both of them, determine who the real culprit was, and then punish said culprit while letting the innocent one go?


Hmmm, never thought about that. Still a good book tho.

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The real question is why they would let actual cannibal Shia Lebeouf near children.


Biggest mood. All I remember was the kid got arrested for stealing shoes. beets were also involved along with a canoe.


Zero wasn’t arrested for stealing the Clyde Livingston shoes. He got away after throwing them off the bridge, and the officers who were chasing him believed that Stanley was their suspect. Zero was arrested the following day for stealing another pair of shoes from a shoe store (to replace the ones he had to ditch in order to escape).

He was presumably sent to Camp Green Lake before Stanley because, having grown up homeless and having no parents, legal advice was probably never offered to him, and he was probably given the option to serve at the camp as an easy way out, since he definitely couldn’t afford a trial.


But it’s said that the Yelnats family can’t afford a lawyer (that is, until Stanley III invents Sploosh). So how can they afford a trial?

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I phrased things a bit poorly in my reply, and I’m not a legal expert, but everyone has the right to a public defender, and public defenders are free. Stanley’s family, being in a position to help him, would likely have requested one for his trial.

Zero, however, was a parentless, homeless child with no adult to stick up for him, and though it’s never implied in the book itself, there is a nasty habit on the part of some police to exploit young people, or those who are ignorant of the law. It’s highly possible that, after he was arrested, Zero was frightened into believing that he could not have a lawyer, and then told that the easy way to avoid prison would be to serve at Camp Green Lake. Since he would not have anyone present to show him that this was not true, he likely chose to go to the camp out of fear.

Again, this is never stated in the book, but it’s a reasonable assumption.


I disliked that book. Mostly because the whole story made me furious at all the characters for a number of reasons, but also because it was a book where the main premise is the main character being sent to a state-run prison camp for a crime he never committed and then being abused horribly by the lunatics in charge of the place. It just doesn’t feel good reading any of it, especially with the random flashbacks halfway through.

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Isn’t that kinda the point though? The main character’s life sucks, that’s basically the plot of the movie, because of some old curse.


Yeah, I know… I just hate how fatalistic the whole plot is. The way it just kind of grinds along to the eventual conclusion, where the main character finally is justified. The whole thing just wasn’t enjoyable to me, though. It’s probably just because I don’t like that kind of plot. I tend to read stuff that is written in a different style.

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The biggest problem with the film adaptation is that Henry Winkler, Gus from Psych and Esma from Emperor’s New Groove didn’t get more screen time