The Floating World Symbols & Objects

C. Morgan Babst
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FEMA Xs

The white Xs spray painted on the houses symbolize, in Joe’s words, “the mark of the destroying angel” (108). These Xs are Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) search codes. The left side identifies the rescue team that visited the house; the top indicates the date and time of the team’s arrival; the right side lists codes for hazards encountered within the structure; and the bottom indicates the number of living and/or dead people found inside. Joe inverts a biblical analogy, then, since, in Exodus 12:23, the destroying angel passes by marked houses, whereas Hurricane Katrina has visited marked houses.

Hope chest

Sylvia’s hope chest symbolizes the Boisdoré cabinetmaking lineage. Because Joe is a sculptor and Del no longer evinces interest in learning her family’s trade, Vincent tries to destroy the hope chest, just as his death without an artisanal “heir” will destroy...

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This section contains 846 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Floating World Study Guide
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