Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray

Joana Vilkas Character Analysis

Joana is Lina’s elder cousin and best friend. Though Joana is not present in the novel, Lina recalls her blissful summers with her cousin and the letters the two exchanged. Joana is studying to be a doctor, and Lina learns throughout the course of the novel that Kostas was imprisoned—and thus Lina, Jonas, and Elena deported—due to the fact that he helped Joana and her family repatriate to Germany, where Joana’s mother is from. Lina thus feels conflicted towards the memories of Joana, since she was someone who Lina once looked up to but who now seems to be reaping the benefits of Lina’s family’s misery. Joana represents the person Lina wanted to grow up to be, and the person she hopes to become if she survives the labor camps.

Joana Vilkas Quotes in Between Shades of Gray

The Between Shades of Gray quotes below are all either spoken by Joana Vilkas or refer to Joana Vilkas. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Speak edition of Between Shades of Gray published in 2012.
Chapter 73 Quotes

Joana’s freedom had cost me mine.

Related Characters: Lina Vilkas (speaker), Joana Vilkas
Page Number: 291
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Joana Vilkas Character Timeline in Between Shades of Gray

The timeline below shows where the character Joana Vilkas appears in Between Shades of Gray. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...Lina Vilkas settles down to write a letter to her older cousin and best friend, Joana, in her comfortable middle-class home in Lithuania. Suddenly, there is a ferocious knock at the... (full context)
Chapter 13
Genocide Theme Icon
...likely happening in Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. Lina wonders if Kostas is near her cousin Joana, and falls asleep wondering where Andrius is. (full context)
Chapter 19
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
...In a flashback, she recalls drawing a portrait of her father. They discuss her cousin Joana, who wants to be a doctor. Lina has written her a note but hasn’t heard... (full context)
Chapter 30
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...the photo. Lina sees the tablet of writing paper on which her interrupted letter to Joana had been written. She wonders where Joana is, or what she would write to her... (full context)
Chapter 31
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
...Vilnius. Kostas and Elena are elated on her behalf, and Lina can’t wait to tell Joana. The family has a cake waiting for her, having been sure she would receive good... (full context)
Chapter 33
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
In a flashback, Lina recalls enjoying a night with her cousins, aunt, and uncle. Joana and Lina take a walk along the Baltic Sea. Lina insists they take a nighttime... (full context)
Chapter 35
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...name is Ulyushka. The women briefly smoke together. In a flashback, Lina recalls talking with Joana in the middle of the night. She has just been seeing her boyfriend, who is... (full context)
Chapter 40
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
In a flashback, Lina recalls feeling giddy after meeting the brother Joana had promised to introduce her to. Joana tells Lina that everyone could tell they had... (full context)
Chapter 49
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...Lina recalls receiving books of Munch’s art from Oslo. She also receives a letter from Joana, who notes that her parents argue and seem distressed. Things have changed since the annexation.... (full context)
Chapter 67
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
...America, but Lina still doesn’t want to leave Kostas behind. In a flashback, Lina recalls Joana telling her about fashionable universities in America. Lina says she doesn’t care much for America,... (full context)
Chapter 73
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
...with accessory. In a flashback, Lina recalls hearing Kostas talk about repatriation. A letter from Joana reveals that Lina’s uncle has been acting strangely, doing things like packing up books. She... (full context)
Chapter 74
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...man told Lina, since she had trusted him with the secret. Lina is angry at Joana and her family, but Jonas points out that they had to sacrifice things, too, like... (full context)
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
In a flashback, Lina recalls showing Joana Munch’s pictures, and trying to express to Joana why she loves his technique so much.... (full context)
Chapter 81
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...also discover the deed to Lina’s home in Lithuania, and an address in Germany—likely where Joana is living. Together all the deportees work to dig Elena a grave in a place... (full context)