Walk Two Moons

By: Sharon Creech

Summary

Salamanca Tree Hiddle, a girl around the age of 13, goes on a road trip to find her mother. Sal's journey starts at Euclid, Ohio and slowly winds its way up to where her mother was last seen - Lewiston, Idaho. With her wild grandparents behind the steering wheel, the road trip becomes an adventure as Sal tells her grandparents about Phoebe Winterbottom, a girl whose story unfolds into another one - Sal's.

Thesis Sentence: Judgements

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

Phoebe and Sal constantly judge Mrs. Cadaver throughout the story based on her actions and appearance. Earlier on in the novel, Sal moved to Euclid, Ohio with her father and the help of Margaret Cadaver after her mother went away and didn't come back. "Would you want a nurse whose name meant dead body? And that hair - don't you think all that sticking-out red hair is spooky? And that voice - it reminds me of dead leaves all blowing around on the ground." (Pg #23) Phoebe explains to Sal about her opinion of Mrs. Cadaver. She judges Mrs. Cadaver by her appearance and shows how her mind believes Mrs. Cadaver to be - not who she really is."You wouldn't think it to look at her, but Mrs. Cadaver is as strong as an ox. I've seen her chop down trees and lug the remains clear across her backyard. Do you know what I think? I think maybe she killed Mr. Cadaver and chopped him up and buried him in the backyard." (Pg #32) In this chapter, Phoebe and Sal judge Mrs. Cadaver based on what they have seen. They infer who she is because of her actions instead of going and getting to know who she really is. On Pg #271, Sal explains how Mrs. Cadaver was the only survivor from a bus accident that took her mother's life and how she was with her mother the whole time. This helps explain who Mrs. Cadaver really is and why she was helping Sal's family.

Mike Bickle

Mike Bickle was judged throughout the book by Phoebe and Sal. On the day Mike Bickle set foot on the Winterbottom's porch, Phoebe announced him as the lunatic. "Sal do you detect any signs of lunacy? There doesn't appear to be any place he could be hiding a gun. His jeans are really tight. Maybe he has a knife tucked into his socks." (Pg #43) Phoebe tells Sal her beliefs of the man that came looking for Mrs. Winterbottom. Although he looks normal, in Phoebe's mind he was a lunatic. "If we get our heads bashed in and that lunatic leaves us here on the sidewalk-" (Pg #64) Phoebe believed that the lunatic was crazy enough to bash their heads and leave them on the sidewalk when all they've ever seen him do was come over to their house. Sal and Phoebe judged Mike as a lunatic although they didn't have any proof he was one. They never tried to talk to him and see if he was just a regular guy. On Pg #248, Mrs. Winterbottom announces that Mike is her son. She explains how Mike found her and how she was his biological mother.

Mrs. Winterbottom

Throughout the novel, Mrs. Winterbottom was constantly judged for who she was. When Sal first came over to the Winterbottoms, Mrs. Winterbottom was like the supreme housewife that did all the baking and cleaning. "Mrs. Winterbottom baked and cleaned and did laundry and grocery shopping. I had a funny feeling that Mrs. Winterbottom did not actually like all this baking and cleaning and laundry and shopping, and 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." (Pg #30) Sal judges Mrs. Winterbottom to be the supreme housewife because of all the work she does around the house. Phoebe and the rest of the Winterbottoms ignore Mrs. Winterbottom's comments and seem stoic whenever she talks to them. "On the bench was Phoebe's mother, and she was kissing the lunatic." (Pg #235) When Phoebe and Sal see Mrs. Winterbottom kissing Mike, the lunatic, they believe that Mrs. Winterbottom likes Mike. Their judgements are later proven wrong on Pg #248. During that chapter, Mrs. Winterbottom announces how she is Mike's biological mother.

Conclusion

Phoebe and Sal make misjudgements all throughout the book. After they misjudge Mrs. Winterbottom, Mrs. Cadaver, and Mike Bickle, they realize that judgements may not always be true without evidence. They also learn that they should get to know the people they judge before they start jumping to conclusions. At the end of the book, Sal and Phoebe get to understand each other better through the truth of those they misjudged.