Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta Essay
1055 Words5 Pages
Josie Alibrandi goes “looking” for herself she discovers she needs to create herself.
In the novel “looking for Alibrandi, written by Melina Marchetta,” there are many different situations and feelings that Josephine Alibrandi goes through, in order to figure out who she really is as a person. Josie also has to deal with the normal up and down roller coaster ride of being a teenage girl. At the end of her journey she has very different views on certain topics to the original thoughts that she had at the beginning. Josephine has to cope with different aspects of peer pressure, religion, sexuality, illegitimacy but also family relationships and secrets and death. She finds out a lot more about herself and her family and friends than she…show more content…
It was a great feeling.”
This quote from the book helps us to understand that Josie realized she had a lot in common with him, they got along really well and she liked having him around not only as a father figure but as well as a friend.
“You were married. You slept with Marcus Sandford while you were a married woman.”
This is a quote from Josie when she and her nonna Katia become really close. Josephine starts to understand that Katia knows how she feels more than she thought. She also notices Katia was once a young girl in the world, with problems very similar to the ones Josie is going through. Josephine discovers that Katia had an affair with Marcus Standford, which has been hidden away from the rest of the family for years. Everything Josie originally thought her background was, plain and simple, she now knows that it wasn’t the case, all black and white. This incident helped Josephine to grow and not take for granted the family she has that loves and cares about her.
Peer pressure is another aspect of life we see that makes Josie a stronger person. It helps her stand up for herself and do what she feels is right not what other people want of her. “But then when his hands went up my uniform and I felt them between my thighs and I looked up to see a poster of a motor bike that said ‘Get something between your legs’ on it, I realized that I could be losing my virginity in Jacob’s bedroom with his father in the other room, completely without thinking. “
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The novel follows 17-year-old Josephine Alibrandi, who lives with her single mother of Italian background, as she evolves through her final year of high school. She is introduced as a typical teenager, with issues of insecurity, peer pressure and maintaining relationships with those around her. The opening portrays Josephine as arrogant, as she is challenging the authority of Sister Gregory in religious education class of St Martha’s High School, a wealthy Catholic private school which Josie is attending on a scholarship. She feels isolated due to her illegitimacy and Italian family history, and greatly dislikes her strict grandmother Nonna. Josie’s father, Michael Andretti, whom she has never met, has just moved back to work in a Sydney law firm, adding to the drama in her life.
Josie’s friends, Anna, Sera and Lee, can relate to her as they all don’t come from wealthy families. However, Josie is slightly resentful about this and intensely envies Ivy Lloyd, the school captain, also known as Poison Ivy.
Chapter 4 introduces us to John Barton, who Josie wishes would accompany her to the first regional dance as it would make the entire school envious. However, at the dance, Josie becomes reluctantly attracted to Jacob Coote, who gives her a ride home on his motorcycle even though Josie risked getting into trouble with her mum. She learns about the death of Jacob’s mother, and how he dealt with it. Soon after, John Barton invites her to coffee, which she declines due to her budding romance with Jacob.
In Chapter 6, Josie meets Michael for the second time. Michael shows little interest in becoming acquainted with his daughter, telling Christina “I don’t want her”. Josie overhears this, and later expresses her anger towards Michael for leaving her mum when she was young, and not contacting them since. She warns Michael not to hurt her mum.
When Josie stays with Nonna for a night, she learns about Nonna’s life as a young woman in Sicily and how she was forced to move to Australia. As Nonna shared that her decisions meant that she would never see her family again, Josie finds herself connecting with her grandmother on a more intimate level.
In Chapter 8, Josie has a confrontation with Carly Bishop, one of the beautiful girls in school, which eventuates in Josie hitting Carly across her face and breaking her nose. Josie phones Michael’s office when Carly’s dad Ron insists that she is represented by her lawyer. Michael shows up to defend his daughter, and settles the ordeal in favour of Josie, who feels grateful towards Michael as he came to her rescue even though she previously told him to stay away.
The novel deals with the serious issue of suicide. In chapter 28, Josie finds out from Ivy that John took his own life. Both Josie and Ivy are deeply affected by this tragedy, and bonded over the common care for John.
Throughout the rest of the novel, Josie learns to appreciate and love her father more. She also acknowledges her deep love for her mother and grandmother, as well as an appreciation of her familial and cultural background. She accepts the differences that keep her and Jacob apart, yet is optimistic about overcoming these hindrances. She holds hope for the future, and recognises her incredible journey of love and learning.
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