While we are no longer developing Digital Mysteries and Thinking Kit, we are leaving our website up for those of you interested in the ideas behind the Apps.

Holes - Use of Language

Holes app

Audience: KS3

Subject: English

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

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.