Fate and Fortune in a Modern Fairy Tale: Louis Sachar's Holes
- 1.2k Downloads
Louis Sachar's Holes, first published in 1998, is an impressive example of how the themes and motifs of one of the oldest genres, the fairy tale, live on in contemporary children's fiction, and thus provide authors with an alternative to ‘gritty realism' as a means of presenting to young readers the harshest of topics and environments. This article shows how Sachar adapts some of the characteristics of fairy tale, such as magic objects and formulae, stereotypical roles and repeated motifs, within a story set in a desert penal establishment for young offenders. Because of this blend between fantasy and realism, the provision of the novel with a ‘fairy tale ending’ by means of a number of otherwise unbelievable coincidences, does not overtax the reader's credulity, but rather endows the novel with a positive message about the qualities of the human spirit.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Appleyard, J. A., Becoming a Reader. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.Google Scholar
- Holm, Anne, I am David, translated from the Danish by L. W. Kingsland. London: Methuen, 1965. Published in USA under the title North to Freedom. New York: Harcourt, 1974.Google Scholar
- Jones, Alison, Larousse Dictionary of World Folklore. Edinburgh: Larousse, 1995.Google Scholar
- Ong, Walter J., Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London and New York: Methuen, 1982.Google Scholar
- Sachar, Louis, Holes. London: Bloomsbury, 2000. (First published, New York: Frances Foster Books, 1998)Google Scholar
- Sachar, Louis, The Boy Who Lost His Face. London: Bloomsbury. (First published New York: Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 1989)Google Scholar
- Sewell, Anna, Black Beauty. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1954. (First published 1877)Google Scholar
- Tolkien, J. R. R. Tree and Leaf. London: Allen & Unwin, 1976. (First published 1964)Google Scholar