Stanley Yelnats

The peaceful boy

The main character of the novel Holes by Louis Sachar is 14-year-old Stanley Yelnats IV. He is an overweight, tall boy who is constantly teased at school for being overweight. Therefore, he does not have a single friend because everyone prefers to make fun of him (Part 1, 3%), the "heaviest kid" (Part 1, 3%).

One of his classmates, Derrick Dune, is particularly hard on him and constantly torments and humiliates Stanley. Because Stanley looks so big and strong, however, no teacher believes him that he cannot defend himself against his adversaries (Part 1, 17%). Stanley, however, is far too peaceful, gentle, and shy to defend himself.

Stanley is optimistic but unlucky Stanley grows up in a very special family, one in which the male descendants are constantly dogged by bad luck. Because his great-great-grandfather Elya Yelnats broke a promise to an old friend, his entire family was cursed, the effects of which continue to the present day.

Stanley's father, Stanley Yelnats III, is an imaginative but unfortunately unsuccessful inventor who is currently working on a recycling process for used sneakers. That's why Stanley's parents can only afford a very tiny apartment that stinks of "burning rubber and foot odor" (Part 1, 5%). But despite the constant streak of bad luck, the Yelnats family never gives up hope (Part 1, 5%).

Stanley's streak of bad luck reaches its peak when he is wrongfully arrested for allegedly stealing a pair of sneakers. They simply fell on his head one day while he was passing through an underpass. Stanley is an optimist who believes in luck, so he thought that the shoes were "the key to his father's invention" (Part 1, 18%). He could not have known that the shoes belonged to the famous baseball player Clyde Livingston and had previously been stolen from a home for street children.

Trial, verdict and punishment

Since his family can't afford a lawyer, Stanley has to defend himself. No one believes that the shoes literally just fell on his head. His idol, Clyde Livingston, considers him a " no-good-dirty-rotten thief" (Part 1, 17%) and the judge calls Stanley's act "despicable" (Part 1, 19%) and selfish. Both fail to recognize the true Stanley Yelnats, who would never knowingly steal from anyone, let alone street children. His wish is even to work for the FBI someday (Part 1, 53%).

Stanley is to be taken to the reformatory Camp Green Lake to improve his character. Although Stanley was wrongfully convicted, he and his parents try to make the best of the situation. With imagination, optimism, and creativity, they want to pretend that Stanley is spending his time at a normal summer camp. Stanley hopes to make friends at the camp for the first time in his life (Part 1, 3%).

The silent follower

When Stanley arrives at Camp Green Lake, he tries to be as polite as possible with the people around him. Stanley's goal is first of all not to attract negative attention and to obediently follow all the rules of the camp. He conceals from his counselors, Mr. Pendanski and Mr. Sir, that he is actually innocent, because he does not want to be seen as stubborn(Part 1, 13%).

During Stanley’s first week at Camp Green Lake, he never complains and follows all the rules. He accepts the poor food, his smelly mattress, and the harsh conditions of the camp. 

Although Stanley i...

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