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Literature Study GuidesHolesPart 3 Chapter 50 Summary

Holes | Study Guide

Louis Sachar

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Holes | Part 3, Chapter 50 : Filling in the Holes | Summary



Stanley's mother doesn't believe in the curse. But Stanley's father invented his cure for foot odor "the day after the great-great-grandson of Elya Yelnats carried the great-great-great-grandson of Madame Zeroni up the mountain."

Camp Green Lake gets shut down, and the Warden has to sell her family's land. She sells it to people who plan to build a Girl Scout camp there.

The suitcase contains a few jewels that don't turn out to be worth much. It also contains a bunch of papers. These used to belong to Stanley's great-grandfather, and they turn out to be worth quite a bit of money. Stanley and Zero each end up with a little less than a million dollars. Stanley buys a house for his family, and Zero hires private detectives.

The narrator refuses to say much more about the changes in Stanley's and Zero's lives, saying this "would be tedious." Instead he describes a Super Bowl party at Stanley's new house. During a commercial break, everyone watches a commercial in which Clyde Livingston endorses a cure for foot odor called Sploosh.

Stanley's family watches this commercial with the real Clyde Livingston, who admits he really did have terrible foot odor before Sploosh. His wife is there too, and she makes a big deal about how bad it was.

Two people sit nearby, not paying attention to this conversation. One is Stanley's friend Zero, now known by his real name, Hector Zeroni. The other is a woman who looks worn and tired. As the story ends, she sings a different version of the song Stanley once sang to Hector at the Big Thumb. This new version ends with the words, "Fly high, my baby bird, / my angel, my only."


The omniscient narrator of Holes never comes right out and says the curse is real, but he strongly suggests it. The events leave some room for doubt, and some people don't believe in the curse even after Stanley's extraordinary adventure with Zero. But the narrator emphasizes Stanley's family's bad luck ends immediately after Stanley carries Zero up the mountain.

This final chapter also confirms the Warden is a descendant of Trout Walker. The narrator refers to the Warden by her last name, Walker, and says the land at Camp Green Lake belonged to her family for generations. Throughout the story, Mr. Sir told the camp's inmates they were not at Girl Scout camp. Now, in a quirky twist, the Warden is forced to sell her land for use as a Girl Scout camp. In other words, Camp Green Lake won't be a place of wrongdoing and misery anymore.

The suitcase contains a lot of money. It doesn't make Stanley and Zero fabulously wealthy, but it provides them enough to solve their families' biggest problems. Stanley's family was always at risk of being evicted from their apartment, and now Stanley buys a house to make sure they never face that problem again. Zero hires private detectives to figure out what happened to his mother when she left him years ago.

The author leaves a great deal to readers' imagination at the end of the story. But the final scene provides answers to several questions without explaining them outright. First, it's clear Stanley's father's invention is a success. His company can afford to pay for advertising time during the Super Bowl, which means the company must be making a great deal of money.

Second, the world now knows Stanley is innocent of stealing Clyde Livingston's shoes. At the beginning of the story, Clyde thought Stanley was a terrible person for stealing from homeless children. Now Clyde is laughing and joking with Stanley. Stanley is free, exonerated, and friends with a famous sports star; clearly his life has improved immeasurably.

The final revelation in this scene is the most important of all. Zero, now called by his real name, Hector Zeroni, is at the Super Bowl party with a woman who can only be his mother. She looks like someone who has been worn down by life, but she also has a wide smile like Zero's. The narrator doesn't explain what happened to her when she disappeared, but her behavior shows she and her son love each other.

The final words of the story are the lyrics to a song Zero's mother sings. It's the same song Elya Yelnats was supposed to sing to Madame Zeroni at the top of the mountain, but the words are different from the version Stanley sang. This makes sense since two different people translated the song from Latvian into English, and two different families passed it down through the generations. But readers should note the different tone in this new version. Stanley's version at the beginning of the story was mournful and even scary. The wolf in the song seemed threatening, and the final words—"if only, if only"—sounded regretful. Zero's mother's version of the song is much happier and more hopeful. Her song encourages a tired wolf to be strong and courageous. Her song ends on loving words: "my angel, my only." This change in the song reflects a change in the characters' lives. At the beginning of the story, Stanley and Zero were both facing threats, and they both had many regrets. At the end they have learned to be strong and courageous, and they both know they are loved. The novel, like the final version of the song, ends on a note of hope.

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