Walk Two Moons

By: Sharon Creech

Summary

A thirteen year-old girl, Salamanca Tree Hiddle, goes on a journey with her grandparents to find and bring back her mother. As the trip goes along, Sal thinks of her mother often, and three symbols: tulips, blackberries, and singing trees, help her get over her mother's absence. Her adventures help her cope with the hardships she goes through later on.

Thesis: Symbolism

The author uses three examples of symbolism to help her main character, Salamanca Tree Hiddle, overcome personal tragedies in her life.

Tulips

Tulips symbolize two particular events that are meaningful to Sal. Sal's mother left and kept sending her postcards from where she was. Sal gets a postcard from her mother that gave her hope for a new beginning in the spring when her mother was back. "She wanted me to know that she would think of me every minute and that she would be back before the tulips bloomed. But, of course, she was not back before the tulips bloomed". (pg. 110) This is important to Sal because she has hope that her mother would come back and they could start a new life together.
When Sal's mother gives birth to a baby that is already dead Sal wants to name it Tulip. "The name came to me from the air. 'Tulip', I said. We'll bury the baby in the little cemetery near the aspen grove where the tulips come up every spring," said Sal's father. (pg. 149) Sal wants to name the baby Tulip because she wanted the baby to have life and she will remember the baby every time she sees the tulips bloom.

Singing Trees

The singing tree symbolizes Sal's contentment with life. When Sal's mother left and when Gram was unhealthy in the hospital the singing trees did not sing. But later on when Gram gets out of the hospital she says, "'Oh Salamanca,' she said. 'A singing tree!
Oh it's a good sign, don't you think?'" (pg. 100) When things are going well Sal hears the trees sing, but when bad things happen the trees don't sing. After Sal sees her mother's grave and accepts her mother's death the trees began to sing. Sal says, "She isn't actually gone at all. She's singing in the trees."(pg. 268) It is significant because Sal accepts that her mom is dead and she is content and knows that she can go on with life.

Blackberries

Blackberries are symbols of memories of her mother for Sal. Mrs. Winterbottom offers Sal some blackberry pie and Sal says no. Mrs. Winterbottom asks her if she is allergic and Sal says, "'No, not to blackberries'. The truth is I do not have allergies but I could not admit that blackberries reminded me of my mother." (pg. 22) This is significant because even though she likes blackberries, they bring up painful memories of her mom and she would rather not think of her. Another memory of Blackberries is when Sal is writing in her journal and finds herself writing about the blackberry kiss. Her mom was eating blackberries and "She took several quick steps up to the trunk of the maple, threw her arms around it, and kissed that tree soundly."(pg. 122) This is an important memory for Sal because it breaks through Sal's painful memories and reminds her of what a free spirit her mother was.

Conclusion

Sal's trip with her grandparents answer many questions she has about her mother and Sal realizes how important her memories are to her. Tulips, blackberries, and singing trees are three symbols that help Sal cope with her mom's death and they help her to be able to move on with life. Sal realizes how much she loves her mother and feels it is okay to let her go.