Assignment 4 : Treasured Possessions.

Definition: Possession, in the context of linguistics, the referent of one of which (the possessor) possesses (owns, rules over, has as a part, etc.)

But possessions to people can mean so much more than the simplistic way defined above.

Possessions can have histories, stories, adventures, passion and love in them. For our assignment I interviewed a few people on their own treasured possessions and why they were so prized. First of all I made a mind map to get all my own personal thoughts of what a treasured possession is to me, and what questions were best to ask the people I intended to interview.


Having identified several levels of possessions in my own thinking alone, I could not wait to begin interviewing other people and see their thoughts and views, as well as personal stories of possessions.

My interviewees were introduced to me through my flat mate. MBQ. We sat down in my flat and I recorded our conversations. We had the tv on in the background and I just went round individually interviewing them, whilst recording it. Then made up moodboards of all the main points I wanted from them. The first of them was Harry. He was a 22-year-old student currently studying medicine. I found his most prized possession to be a watch. Now this watch he received as a birthday present over 9 years ago, and he has worn everyday since then. He said;

‘..I had never had a piece of jewellery before. It made me feel more grown up, having this watch. It gave me a sense of importance.’

It seems that this watch has sentimental value to him, it begin a birthday present for his parents at a mile stone in his life, ‘becoming a teenager’. And has kept it with him to remind himself of that point in his life.

My second victim, person was Scott. Scott is a 20 yr old Geography student. I asked him what was his most prized possession he owned. Whilst working for his dad, he found an old copy of Les Miserables in a recycling centre, that was going to be pulped. I felt this was a strange treasured item. So I asked him to tell me the reason why and the reason was actually quite funny. When Scott was younger, his parents went to see Les Miserables on the stage, and since then, his dad has had an unhealthy obsession with the musical. Playing over and over again. He even put it on why he got in from the pub, drunk with a chinese. Usually its an action movie or sports channel, but no. Les Miserables the musical stage show went on!

[Les Miserables] 10th anniversary – WHO AM I?

So the musical adaptation of the classic story by Victor Hugo, was forever embedded into his memory. So when he stumbled upon this book it brought back all his memories of his childhood and his dad’s obsession with Les Miserables.

Scott’s reason behind his possession is not like other’s I heard. Usually the possession has been gifted or passed down through his family for them to remind people of their childhood, yet here we have a new possession that yet brings back memories of a time when he did not even have this book.

Finally, we have Marissa. She is a 20 yr old Medicine student. After talking to Scott about his prized possession, I thought that no one else could have a more different treasured possession…

Marissa was given this by her Gran, after one of her gran’s holidays abroad. She told me that she always got key rings from her gran for as long as she can remember. She has key rings from all over the world; Las Vegas, Australia, Canada.. York. As for this strange key ring, it was from Bulgaria. She got it when she was 16, a peculiar decision by her gran to buy her a concealed weapon at the age of 16, no matter how fun the object is.

This is by far the most unusual prized possession I’ve heard of. I was curious of the reason behind it. As Marissa told me, her gran isn’t too well these days and she has not always found this to be her most prized possession, but now under circumstances she feels more attached to this more so than any other of her possessions.

I found this to interesting. You would think that a most prized possession would be something that you always have with you and can never be replaced by another object, but here we see that the power of the situation, which I have discussed at length in previous post, has made a considerable impact on her thinking in what she holds dear to herself.

During my research I constantly came across people from history quoted saying that possessions aren’t the most important things in life. Friends and family are, as is good health and happiness. But through my interviews I have deduced that our prized possessions remind us of just that, friends, family, happiness and health. Possessions are only dearest to us if they remind us of a happy time or a person in our life. I am glad that during my interviews no one said that their phone or laptop were their most prized possessions and that the people I talked to had much more depth to their possessions rather than simply materialistic.