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Holes the Book and the Movie Essay

Holes, penned by Louis Sachar, relates the story of Stanley Yelnats who has been accused and then awarded imprisonment for stealing a pair of sneakers. Sent away to a correctional facility, Camp Green Lake, Yelnats discovers that the odd practice of making the children dig holes is not a form of punishment devised by the sadistic warden but actually a search for a missing treasure. It is, what Alleva (2003) calls it, “a refutation of nihilism, a rallying cry of free will and a tribute to the power of expiation. ”

The book was adapted for the silver screen in the year 2003 by Walt Disney Pictures and starred Shia LaBeouf. While watching the movie, I discovered that the director did a tremendous job of keeping the movie as close to the book in spirit as possible. The movie however, suffered from being too short and, as with all books transferred on to the big screen, had certain sections entirely missing. Many differences abound, most of them noticeable because of the makers’ need to fit a 250 page book in a 2 hour movie.

In the book, the famous outlaw Kate Barlow, regarding whom much has been speculated, is shown to have returned to her house and lived there for a considerable period of time before she was discovered by the villainous Trout Walker. She is then subsequently tortured by him and his wife (Sachar, 2000, pp. 121-123). In the movie however, the camera simply shows her leaning helplessly against Sam’s (Dule Hill) boat that had been overturned when Trout Walker and his wife catch her and immediately demand money or the whereabouts of the treasure.

Another noticeable difference was when throughout the book the treasure is alluded to have been stored inside a suitcase. However, in the movie it is shown as hidden inside a chest or trunk of sorts. This gave the treasure hunt a romantic touch and was more in keeping with conventional ideas associated with treasures. In addition, the central character of the story, Stanley, is shown to have lost weight by Sachar due to digging holes in the hot, barren camp. The actor, Shia LaBeouf, however does not undergo any weight loss. Works Cited

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