Chapter 11

Stanley resumes digging but is interrupted by X-Ray (pig latin for Rex, his real name) who tell Stanley to give any interesting finds to him. Since X-Ray is the leader of the group and Stanley needs his approval, Stanley agrees.

As he continues to dig, Stanley wonders how X-Ray, who is the smallest boy except for Zero, became the leader. He realizes that he himself is the biggest of the boys and is glad that they have shown their acceptance by giving him a nickname. Stanley eased the pain of digging by imagining over and over again that he had become good friends with the boys from Group D and that they came to school and beat up Stanley’s tormentor, Derrick Dunne.

Notes: Stanley knows that the boys at Camp Green Lake are capable of violence as evidenced by the condition of the wreck room (see Ch. 9). He therefore complies with X-Rays request to turn over anything “interesting” Stanley might find while digging. Stanley wants to be accepted, but he realizes that these boys are tougher than even his old nemesis Derrick, and uses the imagined fight to redirect his pain.

Chapter 12

When Stanley returns to the camp after finishing his second hole, he finds the other boys counseling with Mr. Pendanski. X-Ray needles Stanley telling him that the third hole will be the hardest. Stanley joins the group as they discuss what each boy wants to do as a career. Mr. Pendanski points out that Stanley is at Camp Green Lake because of one person, implying that that person is Stanley.

When Stanley responds that the person is his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather, the other boys roar with laughter. For the first time, even Zero smiles a wide smile. Mr. Pendanski continues to advise the boys that they must be responsible for the future. “Even you, Zero. You’re not completely worthless.” Zero stops smiling and stares angrily at Mr. Pendanski saying, “I like to dig holes.”

Notes: The two sides of Mr. Pendanski come through clearly. He can be a genuinely concerned advisor, yet he shows total disrespect and insensitivity to Zero.

Cite this page:

Cassie, Donna. "TheBestNotes on Holes".