Looking for Alibrandi

December 14, 2017 Cultural

“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.

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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 early on in the novel Josie still feels the importance of family. When Josie faces the prospect of meeting her father for the first time her fear is evident by the use of metaphor in, “my heart began to pound at one hundred miles an hours,” which also underlines another family complexity hat some adolescents may face. The metaphor also emphasises the mixture of apprehension and curiosity that confuses many teenagers. However near the end of the novel, Marchetta’s use of hyperbole in, “I cried because I was loved by two of the strongest women,” highlights the changes that Josie has undergone and her new found positive feelings toward her family. During adolescence you will face many complexities and complications that may arouse within your family but in the end your family bonds will be stronger than ever.

Josephine also faces many social challenges during adolescence. The fact that she is a scholarship student labels her as second class and the bias in her school is evident in, “I felt disadvantaged from the beginning. ” The pleading tone of Josie when she begs, “Please God, let me be accepted by someone other that the underdog,” illustrates her desire to be accepted by someone who in Josie’s eyes, is accepted by society.

Further along in the novel her longing to be accepted is conveyed by Marchetta when Sister Louise said to Josie, “You decided to become a sheep for the day, you weren’t a leader, you were a follower”. This showed that Josie followed her friends because she desperately wanted to fit in with the others and not be an outcast. However as the novel progresses and Josie experience many incidents which change her feelings and emotions toward herself and others, her transformation is emphasised when Josie states that it doesn’t matter what her name is but, “It matter who I feel I am. Accepting themselves and their social status is an obstacle that many adolescents must rise above before progressing in their life. Many of the issues that adolescents face are caused by the many changes that occur. These issues are overcome when there is an understanding of the change many adolescents accustom to theses changes. They then move on through many different rites of passages that they face throughout life.


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