Melina Marchetta Explores the Idea of Changing Perspectives Through Her Characters in 'Looking for Alibrandi'. How Does She Achieve This?

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Changing perspectives is defined as the change of how an individual sees something or someone. Melina Marchetta uses changing perspectives in a variety of ways in her novel ‘Looking for Alibrandi’, highlighting that change is a lifelong process because no one is ever completely mature or knowledgeable, and that it can be unexpected and subtle or gradual and natural. Marchetta demonstrates this concept of change through her characters and certain events, experiences, perspectives and people they associate with. She enables readers to develop their own perspectives of each character as they mature and change by using literary techniques to intrigue the audience and provoke thought about the changing perspectives of the characters. Protagonist, Josephine Alibrandi experiences changing perspectives of herself and others, in particular Nonna and Michael.

Josie’s changing perspective of Nonna has multiple positive outcomes; Josie learns to respect and accept her family and racial background. Josie first thinks of Nonna as an over protective, egocentric grandmother who is only worried about herself and what people think of her, she got on her nerves and hated her butting in. In chapter 1, Josie complains to her mother; “Maaaa, I groaned, she drives me crazy. She’s starting to tell me all those boring Sicily stories. If she tells me one more time she was beautiful, I’ll puke”. In this quote Marchetta uses tone, repetition, hyperbole, and descriptive language to demonstrate Josie’s attitude and feelings towards Nonna at the beginning of the novel. The repetition of the letter ‘a’ in Ma highlights Josie’s irritation and frustration in her tone of voice, and the ‘I groaned’ justifies these feelings. “She drives me crazy,” and “If she tells me one more time she was beautiful, I’ll puke” are hyperboles deliberately used by Marchetta to further accentuate her irascibility towards Nonna. The word “boring” also describes how Josie feels when she is around Nonna,...
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