Walk Two Moons

By Sharon Creech

Summary

Salamanca Tree Hiddle, a brave thirteen year old, goes on a road trip to Lewiston, Idaho to solve the disappearance of her mother with her grandparents. Along the way, she tells many crazy stories of her new friend Phoebe Winterbottom who is going through similar things with her mother. Throughout the story, Sal learns many things about her mother, Phoebe, and herself.

Thesis Sentence: Judgements

Characters in the novel misjudge three characters because they fail fail to "walk two moons in their moccasins;" these misjudgments are later proven wrong.

Mrs. Cadaver

Mrs. Cadaver is one character who was judged harshly. Phoebe goes on and on about Mrs. Cadaver and saying that her red hair is spooky, her voice sounds like dead leaves on the pavement, and her name means "dead body". Phoebe is also trying to convince Sal that she killed her husband, Mr. Cadaver. "You wouldn't think it to look at her, but Mrs. Cadaver is as strong as an ox ... I have seen her chop down trees and lug the remains clear across the backyard ... I think she killed Mr. Cadaver and chopped him up and buried him in the backyard." (Page 32) Phoebe is inferring that just because Mrs. Cadaver is strong, she could have chopped up her husband, but she has no rock-hard evidence. She is trying to make her opinion about her seem like a fact to everyone around her, and she wanted proof that Mrs. Cadaver killed Mr. Cadaver. So, she decided to break into her house with Sal. They noticed very unusual things in Mrs. Cadaver's home that Phoebe used to her advantage. "On the wall behind the couch were two thumpingly grim African masks. The mouths of the masks were wide open, as i in the midst of a scream. Everywhere you looked there was something startling: a stuffed squirrel, a kite in the shape of a dragon, a wooden cow with a spear piercing its side." (Page 192) Phoebe thinks that these things are considered evidence, but this is not evidence for her subject of 'murdering'. But with all misjudgments, there comes a truth. At this point, Mr. Birkway arrived at Phoebe's house wishing to explain something to her. Sal happens to be there too. On page 218, Mr. Birkway reveals the truth to both of them about Mrs. and Mr. Cadaver. Mr. Cadaver was actually killed when a drunk driver rammed into his car. Phoebe and Sal's thoughts play with their minds and make them think twice about the person, but the truth is always bound to come out at some point.

Mike Bickle

Mike Bickle was misjudged to be a 'lunatic' by Phoebe and Sal. One day, this 'potential lunatic' walked up to the Winterbottom residence and asked for Mrs. Winterbottom. She closed the door and pretended to look for her mother. Then he started to ask questions. "'Is Mrs. Winterbottom your mother?' he asked.

'Yes,' Phoebe said. 'Would you like me to leave a message?'

The pink circles on his face became even pinker. 'No!' he said. 'No. I don't think so. No.' He looked up and down the street and then up at the number on the door." (Page 44-45) This is significant because it shows his nervousness and the need to talk to Phoebe's mother in person. It says that he constantly looked up and down the street, wouldn't look Sal and Phoebe in the eye, and had right pink circles on his cheeks, which shows he was awfully nervous. He also didn't want Phoebe to take a message, which shows he wanted to talk to Mrs. Winterbottom in person. This was only their first interaction with the lunatic. Sal and Phoebe thought that the lunatic was following them and Mrs. Winterbottom. "It was Phoebe's lunatic, coming toward us, staring right at us. He stopped directly in front of us, blocking our way...Phoebe pushed him, yanked my arm, and started running...I was grateful that we were near Phoebe's house, so if he stabbed us in broad daylight, maybe one of her neighbors would discover our bodies and take us to the hospital before we bled entirely to death." (Page 118-119) Phoebe and Sal overreacted and thought that the lunatic was going to stab them to death, but really he was just trying to talk to them. He was trying to get in contact with Phoebe's mother. On page 248, The truth comes out about Mike Bickle. He was really Mrs. Winterbottom's son. All this time, he was only trying to talk to his birth mom, not make people think that he is a lunatic.

Mrs. Winterbottom

Phoebe and her father judge Mrs. Winterbottom near the end of the story, for they think that she is hooking up with Mike Bickle AKA the lunatic. Phoebe is also thinking that her mother left because she doesn't love her. At this point, Phoebe and Sal had recently seen the lunatic walking toward them on the street. They rushed to Phoebe's house and Phoebe was screaming at her mom because the door was locked. Phoebe's mom changed the subject and asked them if someone frightened them. "'It was the lunatic,' Phoebe said. 'We saw him just now.' She could hardly catch her breath. 'Maybe we should call the police-or Dad.'

I took a good long look at Phoebe's mother. She did not seem capable of phoning the police of Mr. Winterbottom...No one called the police, and to my knowledge, Mrs. Winterbottom had not yet told Mr. Winterbottom..."(Page 119-120) Phoebe's mother hadn't told Mr. Winterbottom about the lunatic, and seemed like she didn't want to tell him. She also didn't want to call the police, for she knew his true identity. This is important, because Mrs. Winterbottom is protecting Mike Bickle. A few days later, Phoebe's mom disappeared. They thought that Mike Bickle was behind this and somehow found his college dorm room. They stopped out side the college because they were too nervous to go up to Mike Bickle's room. they went out on the lawn looking at all the college students. "On the far side of the lawn I saw two people, a young man and an older woman. They were holding hands. She turned to him and kissed his cheek. 'Phoebe-" On the bench was Phoebe's mother, and she was kissing the lunatic."(Page 235) Phoebe tells her Dad about this so he thinks they are dating each other. Phoebe is upset too because she thinks Mrs. Winterbottom left Phoebe for Mike Bickle. Little do they know, that she didn't leave them forever, she was just spending time with her son, and she wasn't cheating on Mr. Winterbottom. On page 248, it reveals this truth about Mrs. Winterbottom.

Conclusion

Phoebe and Sal harshly judge three characters including Mrs. Cadaver, Mike Bickle, and Mrs. Winterbottom. The author, Sharon Chreech, has characters in the story who jump to conclusions about other characters. This leaves you turning the pages of the story all night, wondering what the truth about them is. The girls judge people, yet they don't have any rock-hard facts about them. As the parallel plot evolves, both girls realized they have misjudged these people and now know the truth about them. The girls learn that their minds can fool them for things they thought they had seen and accusing someone for what they thought they did.