Fictional representations of Jehovah's Witnesses

by slimboyfat 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • slimboyfat

    I wonder if anyone has ever compiled a list of references to Jehovah's Witnesses in novels and other works of fiction. I have been reading about research into Mormonism focussing on how Mormons have been represented over the years in works of fiction. A similar project with Jehovah's Witnesses would be really fascinating. Does anyone know of such a database? If not, perhaps we could gather one here on JWD. As posters come across representations of Jehovah's Witnesses in novels, plays, poems, songs or whatever, perhaps we could list them here.

    I think it would be good to limit the database to works of fiction since these give us a particular insight into how authors have chosen to represent Witnesses in a way that will ring true to audiences and also convey something meaningful to persons not necessarily ever having been associated with Witnesses directly. So it would exclude things like newspaper articles, documentaries, radio slots, first person accounts and the like. Cartoons of Jehovah's Witnesses and adverts utilizing Witness caricatures may be borderline, but I guess they should rather be included.

    Such a database would be great for charting how Jehovah's Witnesses have been viewed by the wider community over time and across different regions and countries. A modest starting hypothesis might be that references to Jehovah's Witnesses would indicate greater hostility in the early twentieth century, becoming more tolerant in recent years. Earlier references might also focus more on doctrinal differences between Jehovah's Witnesses mainline Christian groups, whereas one might expect more recent critiques to have a secular slant to them. It would also be interesting to see if there has been any discernable impact on wider perceptions of Jehovah's Witnesses resulting from the Witnesses' campaign in the last 15 years to make outsiders aware of their victimhood during the Nazi regime as well as the part Witnesses played in extending religious freedom in the US and elsewhere. Equally it would be interesting to try to assess whether common apostate complaints against the Watchtower organization have seeped their way into wider perceptions of the religion.

    Does anyone else think this would be a worthwhile exercise? Can anyone start us off by listing some works of fiction including representations of Jehovah's Witnesses?


  • stevenyc
  • Jankyn

    By Way of Water by Charlotte Gullick

  • limbogirl

    White Teeth by Zadie Smith

  • BizzyBee

    Cujo a novel by Stephen King

  • mkr32208

    There were JW's in Cujo? All I remember about that book is the monster in the closet was a thousand times scarier than any damn dog!

    I guess I'll need to dust that one off and read it again!

  • slimboyfat

    Thanks for the tips. I was aware of White Teeth, but the Stephen King one is new to me.

    I should have said appearances of Jehovah's Witnesses in films (that's movies in the US) and TV dramas should be included.

    Can anyone think of any films where a Jehovah's Witness character had a big role?

    I don't think there has been any series produced for TV focussing on Jehovah's Witnesses to compare with Big Love on the Mormons, for instance.

    There was an episode of Casualty, or The Bill or something here in the UK not long ago featuring a family denying their child a blood transfusion.


  • slimboyfat


    By Way of Water sounds very interesting indeed - just the sort of thing I am looking for, thanks.

    Do you know if the author is/was a Witness?


  • littlerockguy

    John Updike sometimes will make references of JWs in his writings; the one that comes up in my mind right now is a short story entitled "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth". He may mention more in some of his other novels or writing but I cant think of any specifics right now.

  • mkr32208

    There was a JW fishman on Venture brothers in the first or second season...

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