Today in class we discussed O?Brien?s use of Cataloguing, the use of lists as description. The cataloguing in the text served not only to give practical details, but gives the reader very subtle secondary information that a close read of the text reveals. Rat Kiley is characterized as childish by the comic books and candy he carries, and so he perhaps represents the desire to hold onto innocence even in war (his later actions in the story will certainly play with these ideas).The characters carry items that emblemize fear, anxiety, bravery, wistfulness, love. Jimmy Cross in particular tells the story of love and longing with his listed items ? a pebble from home, his letter, and his daydreams.Given our in-depth discussion of cataloguing, do a catalogue of yourself. Ideally, write a description of yourself in the style of ?The Things They Carried.? After you?ve finished your description, give a brief explanation of how these items are symbolic.Merely writing a list won?t work for this assignment. Think carefully about the items you include. You need to explain how each item is emblematic, important ? How it references your personality, your thoughts and feelings, and your place in society.
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