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How does one interpret this phrase?

The LT walked to each of us and said, “The colonel wants to see you guys. Get ready.”
We put our rifles out over the wall and gripped the fore-stocks tightly. We put out our cigarettes and asserted ourselves against the silence beyond our small encampment. I felt like a self-caricature, that we were falsely strong. When we spoke, we spoke brusquely and quietly and deepened our voices.

How does one interpret "self-caricature"?
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For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    I think when it comes to self-caricature, wants to say about the event. The fact see themselves stronger, so the question of caricature. It was the way he saw the situation of war, as if their movements were being forced and not natural, then being caricatured.

    It's what i think. :)

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