Looking for Alibrandi

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‘Looking for Alibrandi’, by Melina Marchetta is a drama based on a true story. The story is focused on Josephine Alibrandi or Josie, which is what her friends and family call her. Josie is an Italian living in Australia, in her last year of school. Throughout the novel Josie learns to cope with having a different culture to everybody else and the changes that take place in her life. Josie had one ambition: to find her place in society and to break free from her embarrassing Italian family. She also learns to have pride in her heritage “if someone comes up and asks me what nationality I am, I’ll look at them and say that I am an Australian with Italian blood flowing rapidly throw my veins. I’ll say that with pride, because it’s pride that I feel.” This is written in 1st person, which allows the reader to directly feel what Josie is feeling and sees other characters emotions through Josie’s eyes. There are many different themes conveyed through different characters throughout the novel, some of these themes are pressure, sense of belonging and multiculturalism.

The theme pressure is conveyed through the character John Barton. He is pressured by his parents to become a lawyer just like them and to be as important as they are. “But I don’t want to be … how can I tell my father I don’t want to study law, if I don’t know what else I want to be.” The language technique used in this quote is a rhetorical question. John is not expecting an answer to how he is going to tell his father that he doesn’t want to study law because he doesn’t believe there is a way to tell his father.

The theme pressure is also conveyed through the character Josephine Alibrandi. Josie is pressured to keep all the traditions from the Italian culture by her family but is pressured by her friends to be apart of the Australian culture that has a lot more freedom and is much more relaxed. This is hard for Josie because the two cultures are completely different. “We live in the same country...
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