Walk Two Moons

By: Sharon Creech

Summary:

Salamanca Tree Hiddle is on a long road trip to Lewiston, Idaho with her grandparents. She is determined to follow in her mothers footsteps throughout her journey. Along the way she tells her grandparents the stories of her and her friend Phoebe Winterbottom back in Euclid, Ohio. While she is telling these stories Sal learns that she has a lot in common with Phoebe, and she realizes that Phoebe's family has helped her understand her own mother.

Thesis:

Three characters in the novel are constantly misjudged by people because they fail to "walk two moons in their moccasins;" these misjudgments are later proven to be wrong.

Mrs. Cadaver:

Throughout the book Phoebe and Sal constantly misjudge Mrs. Cadaver for many different thing; such as her name means dead body and they think she murdered her husband. Mrs. Cadaver and Mr. Birkway are chopping up the rhododendron bush on the side of Mrs. Cadavers house. Phoebe is of course the one to think the worst of things. "...Like Mr. Cadaver-as I told you before. Maybe Mr. Birkway helped her chop up her husband and bury him and maybe they were getting worried and decided to disguise the spot with a rhododendron bush." Page: 86. Sal and Phoebe immediately think of the bad things, but in reality Mrs. Cadaver probably had Mr. Birkway come over to help her remove the bush from her yard.

Mike Bickle:

Phoebe convinces Sal that a young man named Mike Bickle is a lunatic. They both believed he is a lunatic because they thought he was leaving mysterious notes on Phoebe's porch. Phoebe and Sal found out that the lunatic was actually Sergeant Bickle's son. Later on they call him in a disguised voice to find out where his son lives. The following day both of the girls go to the address where Mike Bickle lives. When the arrive, they realize its a college university. "...What if we knocked on his door and he opened it and pulled us inside and slit our throats?!," said Phoebe. Page: 235. Phoebe is once again over reacting and doesn't realize that Mike Bickle is not a lunatic.
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Mrs. Winterbottom:

Phoebe judges her mother, Mrs. Winterbottom as soon as she sees him with the lunatic, Mike Bickle. When Phoebe and Sal walk into the university, they both see the lunatic and Mrs. Winterbottom on a bench sitting together talking and kissing each other. "Phoebe-, On the bench was Phoebe's mother and she was kissing the lunatic...Phoebe was stunned and angry, but she was braver than I was," said Sal. Page: 235-236.Phoebe was in shock that she had to leave right away. It turned out that Mrs. Winterbottom was kissing the lunatic because he was really her son that she gave up for adoption a long time ago.
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Conclusion:

Throughout the novel, multiple characters are frequently misjudged by other people that are later found to be incorrect. Sal and Phoebe misjudge Mike Bickle for being an insane lunatic and kidnapping Mrs.Winterbottom. They were also convinced that Mrs.Cadaver murdered her husband. And lastly, they judged Mrs.Winterbottom when they saw her kissing the lunatic. Sal and Phoebe later learned that you can't judge someone until you've "walked two moons in their moccasins."