Walk Two Moons | Study Guide

Sharon Creech

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Course Hero. "Walk Two Moons Study Guide." August 23, 2017. Accessed July 22, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Walk-Two-Moons/.

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Course Hero, "Walk Two Moons Study Guide," August 23, 2017, accessed July 22, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Walk-Two-Moons/.

Walk Two Moons | Chapters 3–4 | Summary

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Summary

Chapter 3: Bravery

Sal tells her grandparents about meeting Margaret Cadaver and her aged mother, Mrs. Partridge, on her first day in Euclid. She doesn't want to know how Margaret and her father met. Sal is dismayed by their tiny home and its tiny lawn, which doesn't have "enough grass to keep a cow alive for five minutes."

When Sal starts school, the other students are extremely interested in her long, dark hair. Sal relocates a spider by hand, and Phoebe Winterbottom congratulates her on her bravery.

Gram interrupts Sal's story, remarking that Hiddles are brave people. Sal's mother was a Pickford, and Sal's Pickford grandparents are humorless and excessively concerned with "being respectable." Her grandmother, Gayfeather Pickford, named Sal's mother Chanhassen, "an Indian name meaning 'sweet tree juice.'" However, everyone called Sal's mother Sugar.

Chapter 4: That's What I'm Telling You

Sal continues telling her grandparents the story about Phoebe. Phoebe invites Sal to eat dinner at her house. Walking through the neighborhood, they encounter Mrs. Partridge, who feels Phoebe's face and correctly guesses her age to be 13, but Phoebe is unimpressed and tells Sal about a man at the state fair who upset her father by guessing his age as 52 when he was only 38.

Mrs. Winterbottom is making blackberry pie, but Sal doesn't want any because blackberries remind her of her mother. When Phoebe tells her mother the story of Mrs. Partridge guessing her age, Sal points out that Mrs. Partridge is blind. Later Phoebe tells Sal she is scared of Mrs. Cadaver, because of her name, her "spooky" red hair, and her voice, which sounds like "dead leaves all blowing around." For Phoebe, "people were either perfect...or, more often, they were lunatics or axe murderers." Sal finds Phoebe very persuasive. Phoebe thinks something "awful" happened to Mr. Cadaver.

Analysis

In these chapters, a bond begins to form between Sal and Phoebe. They bond over fears and bravery: Phoebe is impressed that Sal is unafraid of spiders, and in turn shares her own fears about Mrs. Cadaver. Sal realizes that Phoebe has inflexible opinions about people and finds her worldview, which is centered on strong ideas of good and evil, to be very compelling. Essentially, Phoebe has developed her own mythology to explain the world around her and to account for her fears of the unknown. Sal is drawn into Phoebe's world because she needs a way to relate to her new life in Ohio, where she has lost the connection to nature that she had when she lived in Kentucky.

Just as Sal's name is a connection to her Native American ancestry, so is her mother's name. Both names, however, are corruptions of the original Native American words: Salamanca is not Seneca, and Sugar is not Chanhassen. These "hybrid" names reflect the position of modern Native Americans, who may have some connection to their cultural heritage but who live in a world where this connection is submerged or hidden within the dominant culture. The names of Sal and her mother symbolize this hybrid identity—just as Mrs. Cadaver's name reflects her "spookiness" and her work as a nurse.

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