In this passage, Creech’s word choice tells us a lot about Sal and her situation, and sets the stage onto which the book can unfold. The first few words of the passage, “Just over a year ago, my father plucked me up like a weed and took me and all of my belongings. . .” shows us that Sal and her father made a move. The words “plucked up like a weed” also say a lot about Sal’s reaction to the move. The word “plucked” by definition means to pull out, or even to move forcibly. Sal was forced to move from a place she loved and go someplace unknown. To imply that Sal was a weed means that she did not have much to say in the decision. The passage continues clarifying that they did not take some things such as the trees or swimming hole. These items extend the meaning of belongings from material things and turn the term belongings into something with an emotional value and attachment. The trees, or swimming hole may not have been things that she could have taken with her in a suitcase, but these were things that she identified with. The last section of the sentence describes how they drove north and ended up in Euclid, Ohio. The name of Sal’s new town suggests a lot about her new home. Euclid was mathematician and devised theorems thus making him a very precise, cut and dried sort of man. [The atmosphere in] Euclid, the town, seems as if it will be the same way, very precise, very calculated, and not at all creative. This provides a stark contrast from what Sal is used to: freedom to run about and climb trees and explore life, and this sets the tone for the rest of the novel.
---This RR provides a powerful introduction and develops a thorough investigation of the prime elements of the passage. Your writing is varied and sophisticated and that enhances the overall effect of your discussion. Your ability to incorporate quotations is particularly good. Overall, your RR offers a coherent, insightful analysis.
#1 Salamanca opens her story with “Just over a year ago, my father plucked me up like a weed and took me and all our belongings . . .and stopped in front of a house in Euclid, Ohio” (1). This is an important quota as the weed represents Salamanca ‘s year in Euclid, Ohio where she had to come to terms with who she is in relation to her mother.
“Weed” is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary, as a “plant considered undesirable, unattractive, or troublesome, especially one growing where it is not wanted, as in the garden.” It is important to note that Salamanca felt like a weed when her mother left and when her father wants to move from their farm where she had been rooted al of her life. Salamanca has to learn that like many weeds she is important and needed. An example of this is the dandelion. We often consider this a weed in our lawn; however, this “weed” is edible and good for us to eat.
It is interesting that Salamanca and her father moved to Euclid, Ohio. Euclid was a Greek mathematician. Like Euclid, Salamanca has to compute Phoebe and her family, the feelings that Salamanca has in her (such as flinching when someone touches her, and her mother’s disappearance). Creech gives us a clue into Salamanca’s year or so in Euclid in this quotation. Salamanca is uprooted as a weed but finds herself rerooted and stronger by the end of the book.
----This RR provides a basic understanding of the passage, and it goes beyond the ordinary in that you have offered a creative, imaginative idea of computing or mathematical calculation as part of Sal’s experience in Euclid. While not perfect, this RR is clearly one of the best answers. Please note that you neglected to mention anything about her “belongings” that also characterize this sentence and her sense of self in connection with the simile of a weed.
In Walk Two Moons, the author, Sharon Creech, has woven a complex, intricate story about a 13 year old girl, Sal Tree Hiddle, and an amazing journey that she undertakes during the 13th year of her life.
The story opens with Sal, “plucked like a weed,” and taken by her father from deep in the country of Bybanks, Kentucky to suburban Euclid, Ohio. The comparison to a weed is interesting because it implies that Sal is a young girl who has been taken away from her home, her comfort zone, and has been uprooted by her father. She has an underlying resentment at his ability to “pluck” her away from her most precious belongings, “the chestnut tree . . . or the swimming hole, which all belonged to me.” There is another implication which suggests that she has no say in this decision, and like a weed, there is no value in what she thinks or wants to do.
Once Sal arrives in Euclid, Ohio, the comparison of the small, suburban houses to the country farm of Bybanks, Kentucky, immediately makes Sal feel resentment of her father’s decision to uproot her. This sentence lays the foundation for the rest of the story which deals with Sal’s inward discovery of events that happened in her recent past.
---Your discussion of Sal’s resentment and your clear articulation of the inherent conflicts and issues and meaning in this passage are handled very well. You imbed points very well in a very coherent, developed prose.
First, “Just over a year ago” tells us (the reader) how much time has elapsed since the pivotal moment Sal is about to relate. We can get a sense from this how much Sal has reflected on the experience how it has affected her and how she thinks about that time.
The simile likening Sal to a weed gives great insight into her character, how she feels about herself, her values. We learn later in the book of how important Bybanks and the country is to her. It is a very characteristic form of Native American psyche that people are deeply rooted and are part of the land, earth—as opposed to it being a possession one can sell or trade or transport. She is relating the way she feels her father ripped her from the country, or herself as she knew it, and suddenly plunked her randomly into a cold and concrete geometric world.
----While at first this seems short, your RR covers all the bases, offers new and profound information, and does so in a writing style that is fluent and coherent.