Looking for Alibrandi

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“Looking for Alibrandi” by Melina Marchetta provides useful and valuable insights into cultural misunderstandings between Australian and Italian families, relationships and prejudices particularly between Josie, her friends and family.

Cross-cultural issues are explored in depth in “Looking for Alibrandi”. The novel shows the family traditional values within Josie’s family, one of these being Tomato Day. This cultural tradition is important because it fosters greater unity between family members. In addition, Italian family culture has a deep meaning about spending time with family. On the contrary, Josie, a 17 year old Italian-Australian girl, being an Australian of Italian descent, Josie resents some of the Italian traditions and is not too pleased about observing these traditions; since she thinks ‘Tomato Day’ is a ‘National Wog Day’, she says it in negatively and dishonourably tone.

Josie’s perception of Italian culture is really despite to Nonna’s; Nonna shows a lot of respects and protection to the family name and traditions, while Josie resents and unaccepted to her values. Hence, Josie, Christina and Nonna, share a major age gap between them and examines the difference in generation gap in depth. As Nonna lied to Josie and her relatives that Josie’s father died before Christina gave birth to Josie, thus Christina and Josie are misunderstanding to Nonna and also did not accept with what she did. It shows the differences in generation’s point of view towards Christina’s pregnancy.

Furthermore, “Looking for Alibrandi” also displays relationships in a lot of depth, for instance, the relationships between Josie and Michael Andretti, Jacob Coote and John Barton. Josie meets Michael Andretti angrily because he left Josie’s mother when she got pregnant; therefore Josie became illegitimate child with no father. However, when Josie feels helpless and struggle after she hits Carly’s nose, she can only think about Michael to help her as a barrister and...
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