WALK TWO MOONS
by Sharon Creech
1.Explain the meaning of the title and its signicance in this story
Sal’s story is not just her own, it is her mother’s story, her grandparents’ story, and Phoebe’s story because all of these people are important in her life. It is like one of the secret notes that Sal and Phoebe found on Phoebe’s front porch: When you look at the moon you always see only one side, but don’t forget that there is another side. When you hear a story, always remember that there can be another side. That is why this book is called Walk Two Moons. Do not settle for one story, listen closely and discover the second, sometimes third story behind it.
Someone in her town is mysteriously leaving notes on her friends' porch like, "Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins" and "In the course of a lifetime what does it matter". Salamanca spends a great deal of time discovering what these 'proverbs' mean. The title means that learning to put yourself in someone else's place is a good.
2.Where is this story situated? What characterizes that environment?
Salamanca Tree Hiddle has had to face the death of her mother and a move-away from the only home she’s ever known in the Kentucky farmlands to her grandparents where she tries to adjust to living in a city, going to a new school and making friends. Salamanca’s name comes from a place they thought was an Indian village but later turned out to be wrong but by that time, they were all used to the name.
As the story opens Salamanca (Sal) Tree Hiddle is thirteen years old and has just been plucked away from her hometown of Bybanks, a small farm town in Kentucky. Sal loves everything about this farm, from the pigs to the chickens to the trees to the swimming hole and is devistated when her father John, who claims that everything about the farm reminds him of his wife, drags her to Euclid Ohio, where he believes they can start over, after her mother’s death. Euclid is nothing like Bybanks. It is a city, much bigger than Bybanks and the houses are close together, there are no fields to run in, no animals to care for, no trees to climb and nothing to remind them of Sal’s mother, Sugar, who died in a car crash.
A year later, Sal and her grandparents take a six-day-during-cross-country pilgrimage in her grandfather’s old truck to visit Sugar’s grave in time for her birthday. By this time Sal has adjusted to her home in Euclid, and found a best friend, Phoebe Winterbottom, a girl in her class.
3.What is Phoebe like? Give the main traits of her characterand illustrate them with concrete examples.
Phoebe Winterbottom, the longhairy girlfriend of Sal, is in fact a strange girl maybe because of all the things she had to deal with in her very short life uptill now.
She is a bit frightened and obsessed by that lunatic that sends her messages. Like that time that she thinks of hearing something in the garden (r.115). Although she can seem a bit simpleminded to you (r.145)-... "A brain tumor." "Really? I said." "Yes." Phoebe said. "In her brain." ...- she is a very clever girl. Her greatest problem she has to struggel with is her imagination (r.165). Also she can makes herself very nervous(r.206). Phoebe, who I would expect to feel some sympathy because she has to deal with her mother's desertion, is too much of a brat. It can be argued that she is acting out. However, she seemed to act like that before her mother left. She was much too annoying for me to have any positive feelings towards her. In fact, the one scene I did like was when sal, fed up with Phoebe says "...Phoebe, I feel like dumping your cholesterol-free body out the window."
4.Which is the main theme in this story? How has it been worked out?
Many of the characters in Walk Two Moons are American Indian, and I expected that this would be more of influence in the story. Instead, Creech has woven aspects of American Indian culture into the story subtily. The main theme is the lifestory of Sal. Creech chosed the tell the story trough another caracter. So while Sal is telling Phoebe's story (a story that, the 13-year-old comes to realize, in many ways parallels her own) to her grandparents she is looking at hers too.
This is one of the problems I had with the book. Since Sal is the narrator, I would expect that her plot line would be the main goal of the book. However, it seems a bit compared Phoebe's story. This is because throughout the trip, Sal tells Phoebe's story to her grandparents and becauseof that her own story is woven into the narrative. although this slight problem you can clearly see that the story of the two missing mothers runs parallel for most of the book, leading up to an unexpected ending.
5.Give your own appreciation of the story.
This is a great book and I encourage everyone who has the opportunity, to read it. It is a great story which many people can benefit from, and includes a lot of important issues in a very sophisticated novel. The novel is ambitious and successful on many fronts: the characters, even the adults, are fully realized. Also the somewhat cynical and horrific imagination of Sal's friend Phoebe. Still, there is something definitely thrilling about reading this story; the story certainly keeps readers' interest; and the pacing is good throughout. Creech's writing shows the depth of her relationship with the story and enhances its beauty. With warmth and awareness, she reveals Sal's deepest thoughts. Softly and tenderly, she shares Sal's memories of her mother. With sagacity and humor, she gives us Gram and Gramps.
I would suggest this story to any kid or adult willing for something unlike any other book I have read before. Once you get into it, it is another one of those "can't put it down" books.
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