Example: What role does the setting play in the novel? Could the novel have been set somewhere else?
Why did Louis Sachar set his novel in a desert? We know that he lived in Texas while he was writing the novel, so this may have influenced him. It is interesting to consider the setting of Holes as the settings of Green Lake and Camp Green Lake occupy the same physical location at different points in time but are very different places.
The flashbacks to Green Lake link the past with the present , this is to help the reader understand the importance of the past on the events of the present. The characters of Stanley and the Warden are shaped by the experiences of their ancestors decades before when Stanley Yelnats I was robbed by Kate Barlow, and Trout Walker owned the whole lake.
The danger of the harsh desert landscape helps create tension in the novel, as the readers wonder whether Stanley and Zero will be able to survive once they run away from camp. The landscape also contributes to Stanley's character development, as he becomes tougher and more resilient, and his bond with Zero is strengthened.
The setting is very important in the novel as it helps link the two time narratives and causes suspense and danger which makes the reader want to keep on reading. I do not think the same effect would have been caused by the story being set elsewhere.