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Great characters keep the audience completely absorbed in superb novels. Engaging novels are often created with well-rounded and exciting characters through their actions, dialogue and how they relate to the audience. Splendid characters often face issues that the audience can relate to and help contribute to how we grow into who we are. Melina Marchetta, author of Looking for Alibrandi uses Josie as an example of a well-rounded and exciting character.
Characters that face issues throughout the novel allow the audience to relate to them; making a novel engaging and exciting.
Josephine Alibrandi is a stubborn 17 year old Italian girl who faces problems in her community whilst struggling to find her identity. As Josie has been brought up single-handedly by her mother, she discovers that it is difficult to find her place in her community whilst being Australian with an Italian heritage. ‘My mother was born here so as far as the Italians were concerned we weren’t completely one of them.
Yet because my grandparents were born in Italy we weren’t completely Australian.’ Josie is made to feel like an outsider in her Italian community due to her Italian-Australian heritage; Josie also believes that she is seen as illegitimate by her Italian family.
Marchetta uses Another example of one of the issues shown in the novel is through Josie’s thoughts, ‘It makes me feel I will never be a part of their society and I hate that because I’m just as smart as they are’. This is what Josie thinks after students in her school talk about her because her mother was pregnant out to wed-lock and also because she doesn’t have a father.
This shows how Josie is alienated by other students in her school just because she doesn’t have a family like everyone else’s. Josie is an engaging character because of the problems that she comes up against; allowing the audience to learn that people should not judge others based on their culture or personal issues.
Having close relationships with the people in your community can help you feel like you belong and have a purpose. In the novel Looking for Alibrandi one of the most significant relationships is between Josie and John Barton. Josie learns that there is more to life than It’s through this relationship that Josie learns much more about what is important in life and learns to accept her identity.
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