Walk Two Moons

By: Sharon Creech

Summary

Salamanca Hiddle, along with her grandparents, is driving to Lewiston, Idaho to see her mother on her Birthday. She recently moved to Euclid, Ohio from Bybanks, Kentucky. Along the road trip she tells the story of her best friend Phoebe Winterbottom and watches it correspond to her story.

Thesis

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

Mrs. Cadaver

From her hair to her voice the girls assume that Mrs. Cadaver is a murderer. Phoebe's family has got the second note and Phoebe and Sal and have seen the lunatic and they are trying to figure out what is happening. "'Mr. Cadaver- as I told you before. Maybe Mr. Birkway helped Mrs. Cadaver chop up her husband and bury him and maybe they were getting worried and decided to disguise the spot with a rhododendron bush.'" (pg. 86) This summarizes Phoebe's judgments of Mrs. Cadaver throughout the novel. The truth is revealed when Mr. Birkway tells Phoebe and Sal about Margaret (his sister and Mrs. Cadaver) during a talk at Phoebe's house. "'My sister Margaret was the nurse on duty in the emergency room when they brought her husband and our mother. Margaret's husband died that night.'" (pg. 219) Gram just got released from the hospital after her snake bite. "'Sal, you're trying to catch fish in the air. Your mother is not coming back.' It looked like I was merely jealous of Mrs. Cadaver." (pg. 115) Sal is making judgments of Mrs. Cadaver because she feels that she is taking her father from her mother. Sal is now contemplating what Mrs. Cadaver said to her when she went to talk with her."And even thought Mrs. Cadaver told me all this and how she had been with my mother in her last minutes, I still did not believe my mother was actually dead. I still thought that there might have been a mistake. I don't know what I hoped to find in Lewiston. Maybe I expected that I would see her walking through a field." (pg. 272)

Mike Bickle

From the first time they see him, the girls automatically figure that Mike Bickle is deranged. The girls are becoming good friends and open the door to someone sketchy. "The young man looked up and down the street. His hair was curly and mussed, and there was bright pink circles on his cheeks. He wouldn't look us straight in the eye, but instead kept glancing to left and right." A clearer judgment is when Phoebe says, "'Sal, do you detect any signs of lunacy? There doesn't appear to be any place he could be hiding a gun.'" (both on pg. 43-44) These two passages link because the first one is the description that the second passage is judging. These judgments are the foundations of for the thoughts that Mike Bickle is a lunatic. The In reality the truth could change your thinking and is revealed when Mrs. Winterbottom comes home. "Mrs. Winterbottom said, 'Mike is my Son.'" (pg. 248) Mike was nervous, because he was looking for his mother that he had never met. Phoebe and Sal have been investigating the messages. ''What's the matter?' he said. He slid one hand into his pocket. Phoebe pushed him, yanked my arm and started running. 'Oh my god!' she said. 'Oh my god!'" (pg. 118) The girls thought Mike was reaching for a weapon. This passage shows how paranoid the girls are. Now Mrs. Winterbottom has come home and explaining who Mike is. "Mrs. Winterbottom stood up. 'Mike found me, at first I was frightened of what that would mean. I've lived such a tiny life.'" (pg. 248) Since Mike was looking for her he probably was trying to tell Phoebe and Sal who he was and what he was doing, but failed when they ran away.

Mrs. Winterbottom

At first Mrs. Winterbottom seems like a classic house wife, but once she disappears, the characters jump to conclusions. Phoebe and Sal have gone to track down the lunatic at his college dorm. "'Phoebe.' On the bench was Phoebe's mother, and she was kissing the lunatic." (pg. 235) The girls assumed that Mike was Mrs. Winterbottom's new boyfriend instead of looking at any other possibilities. The reality of it was different. "Mrs. WInterbottom said, 'Mike is my son.'" (pg. 248) Mrs. Winterbottom was kissing mike like any mother would do to her son. Mrs. Winterbottom and Mike have just come home and everybody is wondering what is going on. "'I said to hell with respectable!'

Mr. Winterbottom said. 'What's all this about respectable? It's not respectable I'm concerned about. I'm more concerned that you couldn't-you wouldn't-tell me about any of this.'" (pg. 249) Mr. Winterbottom judged her of lying to him without considering what she was gowing through when she made the descision to give Mike up for adoption. Mrs. Winterbottom is arguing her case for why she felt the need to lie to him and why his accusation is incorrect. "Mrs. Winterbottom stood up. 'Mike found me, and at first I was frightened of what that would mean. I've lived such a tiny life." (pg. 248.) Mrs. Winterbottom was frightened.

Conclusion

Throughout the novel, Mike Bickle, Ms. Winterbottom, and Mrs. Cadaver are all misjudged. As one thing leads to another the characters in the book learn to understand the lives of the people they judge before making conclusions in order to deal with the rest of there lives that await them.