Not Logged in.
Book Jacket

News of the World


A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family,...
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide

Discuss News of the World by Paulette Jiles:
Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

Created: 07/25/17

Replies: 17

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1559

Expert

Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

Doris Dillon says that Johanna is "carried away on the flood of the world...not real and not not-real." She describes her as having "been through two creations" and "forever falling." Do you agree with her assessment? Does Johanna remain this way through the course of the novel?


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

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 172

Expert

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

I do agree with her assessment somewhat. Johanna does remain "forever falling" for most of the novel, but slowly, and especially in the end, she adjusts and even thrives.


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

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 169

Expert

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

Doris's assessment of Johanna was spot-on. Johanna was torn between two worlds and not sure where she belonged. She must have felt very lost. Gradually, with Kidd's help, she finds her way in the white world, and eventually finds happiness.


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

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 53

Expert

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

Not real and not not-real. She finds contentment in the white world she eventually grows into but note it is out in the wild fresh air with her husband. "Been through two creations" is a very poetic and accurate way of describing her life. Again the author uses poetry to describe her characters and background.


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

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 10

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

When I first read that part, I was very moved. I think Doris understood the mystical underpinnings of what Johanna was experiencing. Her slight reference to the fae changeling concept was pretty accurate. The captives are returned, and they may look like the child who used to be but they are vastly different internally.


Posted Jul. 31, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolf

Join Date: 07/10/14

Posts: 27

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

I do agree that Johanna was going to be forever not quite comfortable in the white world but also that it would not be easy for her to return to the Indian world either. This is made clear toward the end of the book when they say she puts up with the indignity of riding side saddle and looks with envy at the Mexican women frolicking in the water.


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

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 256

Expert

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

I agree with Doris in that is was always going to be a struggle for Johann to find her own place in the world.


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

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 42

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

In many ways Doris' assessment of Johanna is accurate in that Johanna is struggling to adapt to her new role as a white girl in a white civilization while at the same time remaining a part of the Kiowa Indian world that was her experience for so many years.
Fortunately Johanna does adapt and find happiness in marriage by the end of the novel. Hooray for her!!


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 87

Expert

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

The mind is interesting. It helps one adapt to sadness, fear, change, heartache, hope, pain, etc. Is Johanna truly happy at the end of the book? Maybe. At least her mind has let her accept her surroundings and live as best she can. Her memories are not discussed; however, they also will effect her future. Johanna remembers very little of her first 4 years; maybe that's good. She will always remember the next 6...and those 6 will keep her within the real world and the not real world.


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
josephinej

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 31

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

Yes, Johanna was both of two worlds, and of neither of them. At least the man she married seemed to know her need for freedom, and to be able to give it to her. "It was a life she could love." I think she had as good and happy a life as possible.


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

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 350

Expert

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

Yes, Doris's assessment seemed correct and lasting, even at the end of the book. When I read the novel, I had marked page 124 as important, where Captain remember what Doris said about 'dark shooting stars lost in the outer heavens." It made me think of all the abused foster children we hear about today and abused pets. Some (human and animal) can adapt to new surroundings if they are finally good and humane and "fit in" even if they never forget what happened previously. Others cannot. Johanna adapts but remembers, and at least she seems at peace at the end of the novel.


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

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 185

Expert

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

Yes, Doris's assessment struck me as real. I loved the poetry of it, too. Johanna is caught between two cultures. I also was struck by the passage on page 124 that rebeccar cited above. Johanna does adapt, but she will never forget her Kiowa years, and perhaps will always feel more comfortable outdoors and yearn for more freedom than a white woman of her era can have (like her adaptation of riding side-saddle, but envying the Mexican women their seemingly greater freedom.


Posted Aug. 08, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 64

Expert

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

Absolutely - she knew that after what she had been through, it was totally understandable that she would react in that way.


Posted Aug. 08, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 34

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

I thought it was spot-on. That put into words what I was feeling about Johanna's situation. It reminds me a bit of stories of the children of immigrants and how they feel American but torn by the family roots in another country.


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

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 186

Expert

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

Yes, I do agree. Even though she assimilated into the Captain's family, she still remained true to herself and who she had become while living with the Kiowa.


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

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 73

Expert

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

I do think the forever falling assessment is correct in the sense that Johanna had no foundation anymore. Her Kiowa lifestyle had ended, but she did not fit or belong in the real world either. She lived somewhere between the two and, even in the end, never adjusted completely to the world she was forced to live in. She was there, but not there completely. A part of her would always live on the Plains with the Kiowa no matter how many years passed or how many pairs of shoes she wore. Her nature was such that it did not fit anywhere. She was herself--unique and ever changing.


Posted Aug. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
julieo

Join Date: 04/09/17

Posts: 4

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

Yes, I agree with Doris. I loved her observation of Johanna. We own our past experiences, they make us who we are and we're constantly changing. Sometimes it's hard to fit in or relate to other people who haven't shared the same experience. That's why there are so many support groups for the more challenging trials of life :), thank goodness!


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

Join Date: 02/11/16

Posts: 60

Expert

RE: Do you agree with Doris Dillon's assessment of Johanna?

In the Author's Note at the end of the book, Pauline Jiles says directly that Doris Dillon best expresses her view of Johanna's experience as a child captive. Doris says that Johanna is "like an elf. She is like a fairy person from the glamorie. They are not one thing or another." I loved that bit. Johanna is neither a white girl or an Indian girl, but she is precious and Captain Kidd sees that.


Reply

Please login to post a response.