The Power of Fate

Published: 2021-06-29 07:03:29
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Category: English

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Not many individuals are fortunate to have a "dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great- grandfather" that plays a role in shaping their fate. Stanley Yelnats, one of the main characters in Louis Sachar's novel, Holes, is one of the lucky individuals to have such a great-great-grandfather. Sachar uses a unique style of writing, where he shifts the story from past to present throughout the book in which he intertwines the power of fate between the characters. The power of fate is a strong concept that plays a role in all of our lives whether we know it or not. Sachar shows us this in the novel through a comical yet a morally inducing way. Furthermore, he stays true to the realistic fantasy elements of children's literature that were widespread during the 90s. The novel was published in 1998 and won the prestigious Newbery Medal award for its literary excellence in 1999. In his novel, the author conveys the recurrent theme of the power of fate to determine events by making fate the underlying factor that intertwines the characters' lives and ultimately reunifies the members of the Yelnats and Zeroni families for the mutual benefit of both parties. I will begin by examining the different scenarios from the past that Sachar interlaces through the power of fate. Then I will discuss how the circumstances of the prior events interlock the lives of Stanley and the Warden throughout the novel. Lastly, I will argue that Sachar decrees Stanley and Hector to discover the hidden treasure by applying the power of fate to inscribe both theirs and their families' destinies.
Sachar's effective shifting of the story from the past to present throughout the novel ties together the chain of events from the past with the overall theme of the power of fate in determining events "that track the fate of young Stanley Yelnats and the generation that's precede him" (Giorgis & Johnson 341). The author acquaintances the read with the Yelnats family curse as he mentions the encounter between Stanley's great grandfather, Elya Yelnats, and an old Egyptian woman named Madame Zeroni. When Elya is distressed about his pursuit for Myra Menke's hand in marriage, he seeks Madame Zeroni's advice. She tells him to "carry the piglet everyday to the top of the mountain and let it drink from the stream...and sing to him" as well as warns him that if he fails to carry her up the stream to drink from the stream, "he and his descendents would be doomed for all of eternity" (Sachar 30-31). Indeed, Elya fails to accomplish his tasks and follows his fate to travel to America instead. As a result, "bad luck seemed to follow him everywhere [and] he always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time" (Sachar 38). From this, the reader learns how the power of fate guides the events leading up to the Yelnats family curse. Subsequently, Sachar embeds another aside into the present narrative to connect Stanley's great great grandfather to Kissin' Kate Barlow's lost treasure. "He lost his entire fortune when he was moving from New York to California. His stage coach was robbed by the outlaw Kissin' Kate Barlow...who left him stranded in the middle of the desert" (Sachar 9-10). Again, Sachar utilizes the power of fate to correlate the outcomes of these two separate events of history to influences the fate of the characters in the present story.
Sachar reiterates the overall theme of the power of fate to determine events by exhibiting how the circumstances of the prior events intertwine the fate of Stanley and the Warden. From one of the asides, the reader learns that Kissin' Kate Barlow robs Stanley's great great grandfather of his fortunes. She returns then to a deserted ghost town that once used to be her lush and vibrant hometown of Latvia to bury the stolen loot and hide from everyone who is looking for her. Not long after her return, Kate is threatened by a former acquaintance, Trout Walker, to hand over her stolen treasures. Refusing to hand over her fortunes, Kate gives him a smug look and remarks, "I sure hope you like to dig. 'Cause you're going to be digging for a long time. You and your children, and their children, can dig for the next hundred years and you'll never find it" (Sachar 122). This is significant because the prior confrontation influences the role the Warden place in Stanley's destiny. Near the end of the novel, the reader learns that the Warden is a descendant of Trout Walker and has suffered from her family curse. She claims that, "when I was little,

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