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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:
How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

Created: 07/25/17

Replies: 15

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

Captain Kidd considers himself a messenger and the final line of the novel reads, "He said he had a message to deliver, contents unknown." What did you understand by that and what message do you think he carries?


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: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

He carried many messages through his reading. He used it to inform, entertain and even calm the people. He based his readings on the people and turmoil and/or events of the community he was in. The content changed, but his good will didn't. I think his over-all message was that he cared.


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: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

In his first of three wars, Kidd had finally found what he loved to do. Carrying information, unconcerned about the contents, and alone. He was a good runner and he felt the joy of running. He was justifiably proud of his medal given for his running and the information he safely carried, and felt that his life had been devoted to carrying messages, information, (and people) to increase their knowledge (and freedom). To him, it was one more bit of travel with trials unknown and a message of whatever to be delivered to whomever. A poetic ending to a very poetic story.


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

Join Date: 06/07/17

Posts: 36

RE: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

The Captain asked to be buried with his badge. He said this in his will, adding that he had a message to deliver, contents unknown. I thought, since he stated this for the time of his death, he might have been referring to the after life, maybe considering Britt Johnson and his men, the Kiowa warriors.


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

Join Date: 07/10/14

Posts: 27

RE: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

I think the message he had to deliver and the content unknown are referring to Johanna. His message was one of acceptance, protection and love. The content of Johanna's mind and heart would perhaps be always unknown but he delivered her as his final message as a runner.


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

Join Date: 02/11/16

Posts: 60

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RE: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

I liked that this was left up to the reader to interpret. I would agree with Carolf that his message was of acceptance protection and love. I liked the fact that he influenced John Calley who later became Johanna's husband. Kidd influenced others through his character, his honesty and his strength. People became better through knowing him.


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: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

I do believe he was referencing the hereafter. He planned to continue doing what he did best.


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

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 42

RE: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

What a tantalizing sentence with which to end this story-one that could be interpreted so many different ways!

Being a runner was the Captain's favorite job during the war and the messages he carried were unknown to him back then so I think he might have thought that his death was another opportunity to carry some unknown message to those who had preceded him in death. The contents and the recipient(s) are left to the reader's imagination.


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

Join Date: 01/12/16

Posts: 7

RE: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

I love Sooz's response.


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

Join Date: 12/15/16

Posts: 2

RE: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

I too agree that is a really nice way to end the novel. Being a messenger was Kidd's favorite thing to do. During the war, the content of the messages was unknown to him, and he found it liberating. That job ended, as all wonderful things do, and in death he would do it once again...this time for all eternity.


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

Join Date: 04/03/17

Posts: 25

RE: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

I feel he adapted his messages to his audience and situation, which is why he was so successful with Johanna. He was the exception statistically with her - most captives went back to their tribes, but she stuck with him. He also chose the articles he read depending on the personality of his audience.
Therefore, message unknown is because the audience was undefined after his death.


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: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

Perhaps he had a message to deliver to Johanna's parents - that their daughter had not only survived but thrived. Then, too, maybe he looked forward to telling his wife that he had never recaptured the way he felt while he was sharing his mortal existence with her, but he had learned that unexpected twists and turns in life could provide a new type of fulfillment.


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: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

I believe he refers to his belief in the afterlife. Who knows what work we will go on to do when we reach our final destination?


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: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

Captain Kidd was a messenger throughout his life. He brought the news of the world. I think he saw death as an opportunity to continue doing what he was always meant to do--deliver news of the world and of the people who were left behind to those who had gone before. His messages would be of love and hope.


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

Join Date: 11/09/15

Posts: 7

RE: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

I loved this ending. I think it has to do with idea that you often never know the impact your life and your choices will have on those around you. Captain Kidd felt it was important to be honorable and do the right thing, even when the eventual impact of those choices may never be known.


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: How did you interpret Captain Kidd's final lines? What message do you think he carries?

I think he expected to continue in the same roll once he pasted. He enjoyed his work, never knowing exactly what he would be reading until just before he read. He stated 'content unknown' since he was unsure of his next reading - where ever that may be.


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