Walk Two Moons

By Sharon Creech


On a quest to visit her mother, Salamanca Tree Hiddle journeys by car with Gram and Gramps. Their trip begins from Euclid, Ohio to Lewiston, Idaho. She had previously lived at Bybanks, Kentucky, and managed to gain a friend in the new state- Phoebe Winterbottom. To pass the time and entertain her grandparents, Salamanca shares Phoebe's story while learning to cope with her own situation.

Thesis: Judgements

Characters in the novel decide to misjudge people frequently, because they aren't, "Walking two moons in their moccasins." These characters fail to see pass their own judgements on others. As the story progresses, these judgements are later proven wrong.


Mrs.Cadaver was judged with such vivid imagination by Phoebe Winterbottom, and was refused to be heard by Salamanca Hiddle. Phoebe constantly spewed out ridiculous facts and stories about the red-haired female, "Cadaver, you know what that means? It means dead body" (22). "I think maybe she killed Mr.Cadaver and chopped him up and buried him in the backyard" (32). Unlike Phoebe's creative ideals, Sal had another theory, "But at Margaret's he would smile, and sometimes even laugh, and once she touched his hand, and he let her hand rest there on top of his. I didn't like it" (87). She thought Margaret liked her father. These passages are viewed by opinions and suggestions from Phoebe and Sal, which turn out to be positively wrong. In hindsight, perhaps they should've asked the woman herself before they believed in anything.

In spite of their misjudgments, Mrs.Cadaver was able to show the truth and clear Phoebe and Sal's hypothesis'. "Her husband died when a drunk driver rammer into his car" (218). Although Mr. Birkway was the one who said this, Sal and Pheobe understood if they had only listened to Mrs.Cadaver she could've easily explained this herself. She didn't kill Mr.Cadaver, but saw him die in the hospital. In addition, Sal was proven wrong about Mrs.Cadaver's relationship towards her father, "He's holding on to me because I was with your mother and held her hand in her last moments" (271). She was helping Salamanca's father cope with his wife's death. All in all, Mrs.Cadaver was the opposite person other characters claim her to be.


Mrs.Winterbottom was judged by people quite differently compared to other main characters. She acted submissively and seemed to be plain and simple. "The main impression I got was that she was used to being plain and ordinary, that she was not supposed to do anything too shocking." (31). Apparently to the Winterbottoms, she was the supreme housewife, "I'm not quite sure why I had that feeling because if you just listened to the words she said, it sounded as if she was Mrs. Supreme Housewife" (30). "On the bench was Phoebe's mother, kissing the lunatic." (235). Mrs.Winterbottom never showed her true personality towards her family in these passages, and in consequence she led them to believe that was the way she would ever act. A startling confession had shocked and stunned the Winterbottoms, spoken from the wife herself.

if Mrs.Winterbottom confessed sooner, the whole family would've known she was tired of being the perfect mother, "She was talking about being respectable and maybe how Mr.Winterbottom would never forgive her, but she was tired of being so respectable" (247). She wasn't the plain and simple mother they knew at all, "The first one was Mrs.Winterbottom looked different. She looked magnificent, but she did not look like Phoebe's mother" (245-246). Despite her past personality, Mrs.Winterbottom had the courage to tell her family how she truly feels.

Mike Bickle

Unlike the two previous women, Mike Bickle never had the option to fully explain himself. Phoebe and Sal avoided him at all costs due to their own assumptions. "Phoebe was certain that the young man was going to ambush us" (45). The two children just met the boy, and had only thought of the worst- a lunatic. Mike's timidness wasn't reassuring either, "The young man was wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans, and his hands were stuffed into his pockets. He seemed nervous." (42). Another alarming assumption was later witnessed by Sal and Phoebe, "On the bench was Phoebe's mother, and she was kissing the lunatic" (235). These judgements are significant because they present people's first thoughts about Mike upon the his actions, without questioning why he did them in the first place.

On the contrary of Sal's and Phoebe's judgements, Mike is revealed to be Mrs.Winterbottom's son. "Mrs.Winterbottom said-Mike is my son." (248). Without doubt, it diminishes the lunatic theory, because no son would kidnap his mother, but rather visit her instead. This explains why Mike was so nervous, because he was visiting his mother's house for the first time. Seeing that she is his mother, Mrs.Winterbottom was allowed to kiss Mike on the cheek. This fact alone proves Mike Bickle had only wanted to see his biological mother, but never chance to tell Phoebe and Sal. He was blocked by their towering judgements, and broke through those assumptions.


Focused on their own agenda, Sal and Phoebe were not able to see the true personalities of Mrs.Cadaver, Mrs.Winterbottom, and Mike Bickle. They wouldn't see pass their own judgements. As the double plot unfolds and reveals the truth about each character, the girls learn to "Walk two moons in their moccasins" of others. Normal people are judged carelessly by others, because the people around them haven't considered the reasons for the character's actions in the first place.

Written by Elyanah De Leon