An Analysis of Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

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Josephine is a different person at the end of the novel, different from who she was in the beginning. What causes these changes to occur?

Josephine is influenced by the people around her, changing the way she sees herself and others. Determined to break free, she is faced with many difficult changes throughout the year. The changes impacted on her life and many other characters such as Nonna Katia, Michael Andretti, Jacob Coote and Poison Ivy. Each character builds a stronger relationship with Josie and discovers their true identities. Josephine changes her attitude and the way she acts, finally realizing where she belongs.

Josephine changes the way she sees herself and comes to understand their family’s culture and traditions. Josie places herself in uncomfortable positions with negative thoughts at the start of the year, remarking “I felt disadvantaged from the beginning… I will never be part of their society…” Josie’s attitude is undesirable with no love and compassion towards herself. Throughout the year, she suddenly faces many situations that change her thoughts and feelings. “I’m an Australian with Italian blood flowing rapidly through my veins. I’ll say that with pride, because it’s pride that I feel.” She states her ego with pride and self-confidence, accepting her family’s past and cultivation.

Nonna Katia is a character who influenced Josie to become a respectful and beloved woman. Her relationship with Josie was unsettled in the beginning and gradually came to the point of disbelief and shock. Josie realises “Katia Alibrandi, Christina Alibrandi, and Josephine Alibrandi. Our whole lives, just our names, are lies.” Nonna and Josie changed their attitude and respect each other after learning the truth of their family’s history.

Michael Andretti’s relationship with Josie builds and progresses throughout the text. The connection is strong between them. Their growth and development comes to the conclusion of wanting to adopt Josephine. Josie...
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