Looking for Alibrandi

Topics: Mother, Novel, Family Pages: 5 (1883 words) Published: August 4, 2010
Good Morning Good Afternoon Miss McCarthy and class. I will be discussing the novel Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta. The novel, Looking for Alibrandi is charged with emotional energy. Throughout the novel it shows cultural differences and a lack of communication and understanding between the family. This book is written as both a social and cultural analysis of Josephine Alibrandi’s life,, Josephine Alibrandi is 17 years old and comes from third generation Italian Australian. She feels caught in a claustrophobic trap between family lives obsessed with tradition, a strict disciplined Catholic school and trying to find herself and her position as a teenage girl. Throughout the novel Josie is constantly changing her views on people, and experiences her share of emotional upheaveful as she comes to realize that a perfect world consists of more than just gorgeous hairstyles, rich boyfriends and social privileges. It is a common representation throughout the novel that Josie Alibrandi is a selfish and egotistical girl whose internal angst and whose conflict with others all stemmed from her expectations that others should conform to meet her needs. This can be seen in her interactions with her close family members Christina, Nonna and Michael. She also selfish towards her friends John and Jacob.

Josie and her mothers relationship is rocky, this is shown when Josie attacks her mothers desires to go out on a date. Josie was constantly reminded of her mother’s failures and sacrifices she made while raising Josie as a single mother. She felt suffocated by this love and rebelled against it believing if she was not allowed happiness and freedom, no one else should find that happiness either. A prime example of Josie’s selfishness towards her mother’s want and needs can be seen in chapter nine. Josie’s volatile relationship and lack of understanding towards her personal mother and any possible chance of her finding a new partner, is evident when Christina is invited on a date. Upon Josie hearing about the pending date, she shouts hurtful un-retractable statements. Like when Christina tells Josie she is going out on a date, straight away Josie comes out with “ I don’t care.” She doesn’t listen to what the mum says. She argues about everything and doesn’t think. Josie verbally attacks Christina who after having enough of all the arguing snaps back “Don’t you speak in that bad language… if you have nothing nice to say, get out.” Pg 98 Josie immediately only thinks of herself and yells “ Oh, great. She starts going out with men on a regular basis and she’s ready to kick me out.” Christina is left confused, wondering what she had done to deserve this. She isn’t allowed to have a night off. Josie refuses to understand her position and yells, “ Screw your understanding.” To top the argument off, she yells as her mother was about to leave, “I hope I die during the night and you regret it for the rest of your life.” The maturity Josie had been keen to demonstrate, quickly diminished and was replaced with childish desperation, suddenly grasping at not wanting to be left behind. Whether just for this date or the rest of her life. She did not give any thought for her mothers happiness only her own. Clearly Josie’s selfishness and lack of respect for her mother is at it’s worst at this point in the book.

Josie displays aggression towards her father, has no compassion and expects him to always conform o her needs. In chapter six, Josie’s second encounter with Michael Andretti, she feels as if he disgraced her and her mother. Josie discussed her emotions and they agreed to keep out of each other’s lives with Josie stating, “how dare you think that I want to be in your life! I don’t want you anywhere near us…” pg 69 and as he promised to do the same, they shook on it. Further along in the book, Josie had to rely on the relationship with her father to avoid a possible lawsuit and her father obliged at short notice and conditions. Michael...
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