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The title of Sharon Creech’s novel Walk Two Moons does not immediately suggest the focus of the novel’s plot, but an epigraph that precedes the book quickly and clearly implies its significance. The epigraph reads:
Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his mocassins.
In other words, don’t judge or condemn a person until you have experienced, for at least two months, the kind of life that person leads. (This advice, by the way, is very similar to the advice Scout and Jem receive from their father in an even more famous children’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird).
Later, the words of the epigraph are used within the novel itself, near the very end of Chapter 9. The phrase appears when Phoebe finds a mysterious envelope on a porch and opens it.
Inside was a small piece of blue paper and on it was printed this message: Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his mocassins.
The same words then appear repeatedly at various points in the book (for instance, on pages 56, 59, 178, 246, and 289 of the 1996 Harper Trophy edition).
The title thus seems appropriate to the meanings of Creech’s novel, especially to the various situations in which characters hastily judge others, and Creech wastes no time (thanks to the epigraph) in explaining the title’s significance. Given this latter fact, there seems little need for a clearer, alternative title. Walk a Mile in His Shoes might be such a title, but it would seem clichéd and would not emphasize the novel’s focus on Native American culture.
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