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Looking for Alibrandi

By sea_asia Jun 11, 2005 778 Words
Jossie's intelligence
and confidence are two unique qualities portrayed in this young girl, struggling with her identity. She is a remarkably imagitive young person possessing a quick temper. She is a confused girl searching to find where she belongs in the two different cultures. These cultures, being australian and italian, are very demanding on such a young girl, having to mould herself for each and find an equalibrium of both. She has major difficulties coping with the harsh reality of prejudice and these problems soon take their toll on her. These pressures continue with her living a life in a prestigious private school, battling to balance herself in a middle class life.

Josies aspirations reach much farther than that of her families ambitions for her life. It is at this point in time where a classic example of culture clash begins. Josie feels the need to rebel against the stero-typical female in an Italian culture. This determination stems from her education and desire to step away from her Italian life and responsibilities, breaking away not only from her family and their narrow mindedness but also the entire Italian culture. This is a major leap for Josie who aspires to be the first Alibrandi female to take control of her life. This motivation of freedom is strong in Josie and her rebellious ways demonstrate this.

Christina is the result of the Italian culture and the clash it has with the Australian identity. From the time she was thrown out of home at 17, Nonna has always blamed Christina for Josies birth. Up until Francessca's death, Nonna was forbidden to have any contact with her daughter. this exemplifies the authority an Italian male can exert on the women in his family. Josie would have seen this and binded with her motivation from her australian identity could not stand for such a culture. It was not until Francessca's death that Nonna could be reuinted with her daughter and grand daughter.

Josie's father has had very little immediate impact on her life thus far. When her father did arrive in back in Sydney Josie is naturally angry at him. This is a totally acceptable form of behaviour considering the circumstance, but her anger not only stems from her own personal experience. Josie had to grow up knowing that her father had abandoed her and her mother, pushing her Christina into being a single parent bringing up her child alone. Because of this humaliting fact Christina and her daughter were outcasted from the italian community. Her hatred also delved into the way the italian community treated Christina and Josie through gossip and intentional humiliation of the family. Even though Josie rebels against her father initially, she eventually begins to grow closer to him. This initial bonding occurs when Josie needed her dad, when she broke Ivy's nose. This allowed for some trust to be restored between her and her father, making their relationship stronger and giving them a new start.

Josie is very rebellious to the italian way of life, which has a lot to do with nonna and her constant remarks such as "you brake my heart" and "i derserve respect". She also hates the fact that nonna's friends are always reporting things that she does. She undervalues Jossie as a person by not allowing her to sit in the lounge room with the airconditioning, as this is for visitors only. She is also blames by her mum for anything that jossie does such as "yous let her go out like a gypsy". When she finds out that christina is not Francesas daughter but also a bastard, she confronts nonna and is very angry because she feels the hypocrisy in her argumument. Its not until nonna explains her situation and the hardships she has indured in her that she begins to understand nonna and have some compassion for her; she begins to understand the Italian family life. Nonna also starts to compremise her attitude to Jossie and begins to accept some of the australian ways of life.

Josies life has many prominent
issues relating to multicultural Australia today. The prejudice and need to be normal in any minority society is trumendous and this book covers that issue very intesley. But there is also a lot more to this novel than simple bigotry. "Looking for Alibrandi" also attacks very important issues at the foundation of the Australian culure. These range from teenage pregnancy to the social hierarchy at a private school. All these issues are intwined to create a very revealing book about all aspects of Australian life, not necesaarily from a purely Australian view.

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