At the start of "Looking for Alibrandi", by Melina Marchetta we are introduced to a
seventeen year old girl by the name of Josephine "Josie" Alibrandi, who is in her last year of
high school. By the end of the book it is made obvious that Josephine has gone through many
dramatic and important changes, including achieving her emancipation, discovering her
family secret, accepting her culture, and meeting, and having a relationship with her father,
Michael Andretti. All of these changes, and others, help to shape the character of Josephine
Throughout the year, Josephine talks of wanting to achieve her emancipation. 'I'll run one
day. Run for my life. To be free and think for myself. Not as an Australian and not as an
Italian and not as an in-between. I'll run to be emancipated." (pg40). Josie also wants to be
free to make her own decisions, and she doesn't want to care about what others are saying,
like she does now.
Marco Andretti (left #26) and his father Michael A...
Andretti Autosport (then Andretti Green Racing) ow...
At the same time, she realises that she can't escape everything. "If my society will let me."
(pg40). Josie thinks that part of her emancipation is to be free of her Italian background,
which is not possible, because it will always be a part of her. She believes that it may stop her
from achieving her emancipation.
Soon Josie realised that the only thing that was stopping her emancipation was herself.
"Relief because I was finally beginning to feel free. From whom? Myself, I think." (pg221).
Josie realises that she is holding herself back from what she really wants, but she isn't sure
whether she wants to fight for it or not. When John Barton died, she came to a decision. "I
remembered when we spoke about achieving our emancipation. The horror is that he had to
die to achieve his. The beauty is that I'm living to achieve mine." (pg240). Josie believes in
fighting for her emancipation.
By the end of the year, Josie realises that she has already achieved her emancipation. "I just
sat there thinking back over the year and I realised that I was emancipated long ago. It wasn't
at one particular point either, it was at several." (pg258). At the Walk-a-thon, for example,
Josie realised that leaving the walk-a-thon to go with her friends was wrong. "I was wrong, I
thought to myself. I honestly believed it. Not because Sister Louise told me so or because she