Looking for Alibrandi

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“Looking for Alibrandi” explores many complexities of adolescence. Discuss with close reference to the text.

All adolescents experience many rites of passages due to the turbulence they face during that changing period of their life. Looking for Alibrandi underlines the difficulties and hurdles faced by adolescents due to the changes that hinder their journey and must be overcome before progressing through to adulthood. Melina Marchetta successfully explores some of these many rites of passages including social status, family difficulties and cultural acceptance.

One of the many hardships that Josie overcomes involves the acceptance of her cultural heritage. Melina Marchetta’s use of metaphor, “culture is nailed into you so deep, you can’t escape it, no matter how hard you run”, shows that early on in the novel Josie is desperate to escape from the clutches of her Italian heritage and had no desire to keep her traditions. However as she progresses through her adolescence she begins to realize that many people face different problems and her willingness to change is conveyed by Marchetta when Josie think, “I’m trying to understand Nonna.” The proud tone of, “I’m and Australian with Italian blood flowing rapidly through my veins,” highlights Josie’s final turning point in accepting her heritage near the end of the novel. Accepting cultural heritage is a barrier that many adolescents must overcome during their journey through adolescence.

Many teenagers also face many family difficulties, some of which are experienced by Josie in “Looking for Alibrandi.” The wistful tone of, “It makes me feel I will never be a part of their society,” emphasises her obvious yearning to fit in amongst the girls at St Martha. She does not want to be hidden behind a barrier of illegitimacy and the fact that she does not live with a father. However the use of metaphor in, “she loves us even if it is in a suffocating way, and that makes me feel very guilty,” shows that even...
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