The novel “Looking for Alibrandi” by Melina Marchetta explores the life of a seventeen year old Australian/Italian teenager named Josephine Alibrandi. Josephine is attending a upper class private school in the suburb of Glebe, Sydney NSW in her last year of high school. Thorughout year twelve Josephine comes by adolescent events both positive and negative such as racial comments, understanding the secrects and truth of her family, reuniting with her father who has been abscent all her life and finding her first love.
Josephine has trouble accepting that she is a “ethnic” though starts to accept and be proud to be a Australian with and Italian background as the book progresses. The book is named “Looking for Alibrandi” as Josephine has never found her place in society and is still unaware of what she is and how she should act according to the people around her. Her vital task in life is to find who she is and to be happy with what she has, so as she progresses through year twelve she is finally starting to find who she is through the help of her friends, family and partner. All of these people mould Josephines existant and help her make her what she becomes by the end of the novel. Josephine has three main best friends who she met at the start of year seven, they started to be great friends as they all did not fit in very well with the “popular people” All three of these friends Annie, Lee and Sera are totally different human beings with different views.
Anna being a inteligent, intriguing and educated teenager is complete opposite of Sera who is a “party animal” and is very straightw forward with how she feels about people and ideas, finally Lee is a quiet, shy figure who is always on the look out for troubles with her friends always making sure that things that can be avoided are avoided. The three of them together with Josephine are known to be the outcasts throughout the school. Josephine has been changed and decided on what kind of person she would like to be from observing and understanding each of her friends. She also has another influential friend by the name of John Barton who she took particular interest in, he, later in the book changes Josephine’s life when he suffers from clinical depression and decides that he does not want to live his life any longer.
Through her seventeen years alive, Josephine has never known her father until this year in year twelve. Her dramatic reunite with her father Michael Andretti changes her life significantly when she realises how much she was missing out on from not having a father. She gets to know her father very well varying her thoughts on life thinking that good things can happen in life. While she is getting along with her father, she also has a very healthy relationship with her mother, Chirstina Alibrandi.
They get along well and always are able to talk to each other about any issue they are having. Josephine on the other hand does not have a significantly good relationship with her grandmother in the earlier stages of the book. It is not until Josephine discovers the truth about her grandmother giving birth to her mother with a man that she was not married to that she starts to get along with her grandmother. Of course at first Josephine was enraged with the truth though after a period of time realised that she needs to support her grandmother on this truth. At this point Josephine’s relationship with her grandmother becomes significantly better. This event surely moulded her personality as she now has found about her own identity and is more educated on her background.
Josephine finds her first love when she encounters Jacob Coote at an formal school speech event. Originally Josephine had a crush on the one that is seen to be more suited for her John Barton, but then later falls for Jacob due to his incredible deication to herself. After a couple of negative encounters in public, the two become very close and start to date, the two are very loyal to eachother but encounter problems when Jacob becomes jealous of other boys or when Josephine doesn’t like the way Jacob is dressed. All of these problems are come over and they become closer and closer, the existance of Jacob Coote in Josephine’s life is hugely significant and very influential on some of the decisions Josephine later makes. Later in the book the perfect couple end up breaking up due to the fact that they felt they were not moving forward as individuals in life.
After a stress filled and eventful year she finally finished her HSC examinations, recieveing many qualifications in different subject areas. Though she has not only learned little bits from school but has also learned to be a member of community through the help of her friends and family. She has found her true identity by the end of the novel. Knowing that she is a Australian with Italian blood flowing through her, who is not afraid to be who she is no matter what anyone thinks.
Courtney from Study Moose
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