Holes app         Holes - Use Of Language

         Subject:           English

         Topic:               Literature, Civil Rights, Racism, Crime, Punishment, Society, Imagery             

         Audience:        KS3

         Question:         How does Louis Sachar use language to explore different themes and ideas in Holes?

         Author:             Elizabeth Doyle


This is a popular novel (and film) which appeals across the ability range in Key Stage Three. It has a non-linear narrative which explores some interesting themes in a very accessible way. The discussion of racism, crime and punishment and status in society provide a good ‘entry point’ for a study of Civil Rights and related issues. For higher ability students, there is a huge ‘central metaphor’ which explores the imagery of heaven and hell, and this can be linked to works such as ‘The Inferno’ and ‘Frankenstein’. This Mystery is intended to stimulate discussion both in terms of historical context and in the more sophisticated use of language devices and setting to reinforce the story.