Walk Two Moons | Study Guide

Sharon Creech

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Course Hero. "Walk Two Moons Study Guide." August 23, 2017. Accessed September 24, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Walk-Two-Moons/.

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Course Hero, "Walk Two Moons Study Guide," August 23, 2017, accessed September 24, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Walk-Two-Moons/.

Walk Two Moons | Chapters 33–34 | Summary

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Summary

Chapter 33: The Visitor

Sal continues telling her story to her grandparents in the hotel room near Yellowstone.

Sal is at Phoebe's house when Mr. Birkway arrives to apologize for reading Phoebe's journal aloud. He tells her that Mrs. Cadaver is his sister and that her husband died in the same car accident that took Mrs. Partridge's sight. Mrs. Cadaver was working in the emergency room when her injured mother and husband were brought in. With this information, Phoebe is at a loss for how to continue the search for her mother.

Sal tells Phoebe the lunatic is Sergeant Bickle's son.

That night, Sal thinks a lot about Mrs. Cadaver. She feels the pain Mrs. Cadaver must have felt that night in the emergency room: "It was as if I was walking in her moccasins." Sal "wonder[s] if the birds of sadness had built their nest in Mrs. Cadaver's hair afterward" and whether Mrs. Cadaver "knew the worth of water before the well was dry."

Chapter 34: Old Faithful

The next day, the day before Sal's mother's birthday, Gram is up early—she's "waited [her] whole entire life to see Old Faithful." They drive to the geyser, and Gram tries to crawl under the safety rope to get closer. Gram says the erupting geyser "looks like an upsidey-down waterfall!" Everyone steps back, but Gram basks in the mist, shouting "Oh, huzza, huzza!" Back in the car heading toward Idaho, Gram cries with happiness for having had that experience.

Analysis

Chapter 33 marks the end of several mysteries that have allowed Phoebe's imagination to run wild so far throughout the narrative. The lunatic has been identified, at least provisionally, and both Phoebe and Sal learn the truth about Mrs. Cadaver: she is not the evil woman they both wanted her to be. Sal wanted her to be evil so that she wouldn't have to accept her as any sort of stand-in for her mother. Phoebe wanted her to be evil so that she'd have an explanation, not only for the fears she lives with daily, but also for her mother's disappearance. Both girls now realize the truth is less black and white than they had imagined. Sal, in particular, is overcome with empathy for Mrs. Cadaver. She is guided in her thinking about Mrs. Cadaver by the lunatic's messages; they have provided a framework for making sense of her experience.

Gram's great capacity for joy and playfulness is once again apparent when she visits Old Faithful. Just as when she spontaneously joined in the Native American powwow in Chapter 10, she now immerses herself fully in the experience of Old Faithful, literally letting it touch her body. It is Gram's willingness to participate fully in life that gives her life vitality and meaning, but this same quality also opens her to danger, as when she was bitten by the venomous snake in Chapter 15. Like nature itself, Gram's openheartedness is a coin with two sides: it brings both danger and joy.

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