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News of the World


A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family,...
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Discuss News of the World by Paulette Jiles:
Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

Created: 07/25/17

Replies: 19

Posted Jul. 25, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1559

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Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family? What do you think she remembers of her life before she was taken?


Posted Jul. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 169

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RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

The Kiowa family provided the life she knew and had adapted to. She was being torn from that life to be thrust into an unfamiliar world, a world filled with people she'd come to view as her enemies. The Kiowa's had provided her security and a family. There would be no good reason for her, personally, to want to leave that.


Posted Jul. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 64

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RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

Because, that was all she knew. It was where she lived and the conditions under which she lived.


Posted Jul. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 53

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RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

The years between six and ten are formative years for humans. Children taken to be raised with Kiowa (and I suppose other tribes as well) learned very deeply and quickly how to love and survive in the outdoors. The author notes that almost always these children did not re-adapt well. Perhaps there is something very ancestral about this kind of living and that it makes more sense to humans, when given a chance, to live this way. Also, one would never wish to leave a loving mother and family, especially by force. This would have been the second time it had happened to her, as well, so it would have dragged up some very old and well-buried memories of terror and unhappiness.


Posted Jul. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 53

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RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

The years between six and ten are formative years for humans. Children taken to be raised with Kiowa (and I suppose other tribes as well) learned very deeply and quickly how to love and survive in the outdoors. The author notes that almost always these children did not re-adapt well. Perhaps there is something very ancestral about this kind of living and that it makes more sense to humans, when given a chance, to live this way. Also, one would never wish to leave a loving mother and family, especially by force. This would have been the second time it had happened to her, as well, so it would have dragged up some very old and well-buried memories of terror and unhappiness.


Posted Jul. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 112

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RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

This was the only family she knew. She was raised with the Kiowa. At ten years old it would be very hard to be pulled away from the only family you know.


Posted Jul. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurief

Join Date: 09/08/12

Posts: 35

RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

After the trauma of being torn from her family, the Kiowa community is where she recovered, eventually came to know and trust, and became Kiowan in the most impressive time of her childhood.


Posted Aug. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annl

Join Date: 04/03/17

Posts: 25

RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

I believe the age where she was kid napped is most important in forming bonds. There is a slight contradiction that she formed such a strong bond there, and then another to the captain. The common thread I assume is goodness in the people involved. I appreciated the summary at the end of the book about kidnap victims of the time.


Posted Aug. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 34

RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

I too appreciated the summary about children who were kidnapped by other tribes and the coping mechanisms they developed. It makes sense that a self-preservation instinct would kick in and children would do whatever it takes to survive. It sounds like Joanna's Kiowa family treated her well.


Posted Aug. 04, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
forann

Join Date: 03/11/14

Posts: 10

RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

Paulette Jiles did indeed do her research. In the mid to late 1800s this was common practice. While many have posed suggestions as to why these captives wanted to remain i.e.. Stockholm Syndrome or simply that these children were easily retrained in the culture and ways of their captives, it is an historical fact. So as I read, Ms. Jiles's character development of Johanna was true to research and likely based on real character studies.


Posted Aug. 04, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
M-E Thompson

Join Date: 08/03/17

Posts: 6

RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

It certainly seems likely that given her age, Johanna would have dealt with a trauma like being taken from her birth family by adapting immediately to her new life with the Kiowa. The author seemed to mention several times in the book how easy it was for Johanna to read people's intentions by their facial expressions, motions, etc., much more so than from their words. Though I'm sure that was a trait she learned from her Kiowa family, I also think that children innately have that ability. Perhaps in addition to needing to adapt for survival (though unconsciously), she also consciously understood that her Kiowa family accepted her from the beginning from their expressions and actions toward her? This would have made her all the more devoted to them.


Posted Aug. 05, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 256

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RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

Johanna became a Kiowa. She lived and evidently loved that life. She had probably also seen what the white solders were doing to the Indians and was deathly afraid of them.


Posted Aug. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 247

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RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

They are her shelter, her security, and her loving relationship. With their caring for her, of course she knew she belonged to them and was more than content where she was.


Posted Aug. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 350

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RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

They had truly become her family, and obviously must have made her feel loved and secure. Also,if her birth family had been anything at all like Wilhelm and Anna, then maybe this new Kiowa family actually seemed better.


Posted Aug. 10, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ABeman

Join Date: 01/14/15

Posts: 25

RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

As many other readers have noted, Johanna's life with the Kiowa was the only life she has known. I've read that the best time for a child to learn a second language is before age 10. From age 3 to 10 are critical years in terms of brain development. It's interesting that Jiles has chosen to make Johanna a 10-year-old. Perhaps Jiles is subtly implying that Johanna's capacity to learn a second language, a second culture, a second way of life will be impeded. Johanna will always feel and seem slightly foreign. Because of Kidd's background and what he's not only read about, but experienced in the world, he is able to show Johanna the compassion she needs to survive her new circumstances and then thrive as she makes her own family.


Posted Aug. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 186

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RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

They are the only family she knows and understands. When she is parted from them she is expected to drop their familiar ways and adapt to an unknown culture. She no longer knows what is expected of her or what is acceptable to those around her. She does not understand the language of those who are now caring for her and what it will mean for her to give up her Kiowa ways.


Posted Aug. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jodig

Join Date: 06/07/15

Posts: 25

RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

Because they were the only family she knew - even if they were not her "real" family. It would be hard to leave anyone who had cared for you for so long - at that age.


Posted Aug. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 73

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RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

She spent her formative years with them and found family. It is natural for her to want to return to the only family she could remember. She identified as Kiowa, not caucasian or German. She spoke the language, knew the culture and the ways of the Kiowa, which were vastly different than what she found in other cultures. She wanted to go home.


Posted Sep. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 97

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RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

Having been taken at 6 she had spent 4 years with the Kiowa. From 6 to 10 are very impressionable years. She had spent 4 years trying to fit in with the Kiowa and learn their ways - even tho she might not have seen it that way. They were the most familiar to her - she thought of them as her family. She had forgotten most of her first 4 years - as most of us will, unless someone is there to remind us.


Posted Sep. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
KateB

Join Date: 02/11/16

Posts: 60

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RE: Why do you think Johanna wants to stay with her Kiowa family?

Johanna's feelings are the really unknowable aspect of this story. It is told from Captain Kidd's point of view and even when she is older it is hard to tell how she reflects and feels about her Kiowa family. Having presumably assimilated into that life between the ages of 6 & 10, how must she look back on it as an adult? As a child of six would she really have understood what they did to her parents? Psychologically, this must be incredibly difficult. As a reader, I was very happy that Johanna found a family and love as she grew up.


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