Looking for Alibrandi

Topics: Sociology, Melina Marchetta, Discrimination Pages: 2 (512 words) Published: March 19, 2006
"You can't hate what you're a part of. What you are. I resent it most of the time, curse it always, but it'll be a part of me until the day I die. I used to wish when I was young that my mother had made a mistake and that my father wasn't the son of an Italian, but an Australian. So I could be part of the ‘in crowd' you know." (152)

Race is a prominent aspect in the novel Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta. Ethnic notions are evident throughout the book as they construct a variety of values which link together to create a being of reality. Within the text illegitimacy, discrimination and status are demonstrated

It is unmistakable not to consider Josie's illegitimacy to be one of her values. This is concurrent with her heritage as she believes that her peers judge her not only by her ethnic background, but also because of the circumstances surrounding her birth. Evidence to support this suspicion of her peers condemning nature is apparent by Josie quoting, ‘I used to hear my illegitimacy mentioned during the first years at St Martha's…' (8). More evidence to sustain that this notion is patent is when it is said by Josie, ‘Even though the girls at St Martha's don't mention it [my illegitimacy], I bet they're talking about me behind my back. I can feel it in my bones.' (8).

Another element in the book that is seen as significant to Josie is how she feels about the amount of prejudice present in her society. Her Italian background is constantly being scrutinized by characters and this is evident when Jacob states; ‘You people [Italians] should go back to your own country if you're so confused.' (123). How Josie feels about all the inequity she receives is shown when she is quoted saying,

‘I'm an Italian. I'm of European decent. When an Italian or another person of European decent calls me a wog it's done in good warm humour. When the word "wog" comes out of the mouth of an Australian it's not done in good humour unless they're a good friend. It...
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