How Does Looking For Alibrandi Change Throughout The Novel

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Journey to Emancipation
“I'll run one day. Run for my life. To be free and think for myself...I'll run to be emancipated.”
Melina Marchetta’s debut novel, Looking for Alibrandi, is a novel that takes the readers on a journey of searching for one’s true identity and finding individualism. The novel focuses on 17 year old school vice-captain Josephine (Josie) Alibrandi, and her journey through her final year of high school to. In the beginning of the novel, readers view Josie as not a likeable character. She is referred as ‘an obnoxious creation’ because she is an arrogant know-it-all, who opens her mouth too much. However, this is a year that marks many changes in her life, predominantly her perspective on life, herself and her family. Through
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Marchetta expresses this part of adolescent years through the perspective of an Italian-Australian Josephine Alibrandi as she struggles to find her place between these two cultural traditions and attempts to escape the expectations of her family in order to achieve emancipation.
Her problems worsens when she makes acquaintance of her previously unknown father, a close friend commits suicide, falls in love, discovers a terrible family secret that has cursed three generations of Alibrandi women and racism attacks still occurring at her prestigious Catholic private school, as she is called a ‘wog’, ‘ethnic’ and ‘illegitimate’. However, Josie eventually learns the truth of acceptance- at her school, with her family and her Italian cultural background. These events impact on her life, shapes her identity and alters her
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The selection of characters critically contributes to Josie’s journey in finding her true identity. One of the most influential character is her grandmother: Katia Alibrandi. Their relationship isn’t quite harmonious at the start because Katia’s strong Italian traditions and values established a distance between her and Josie as Katia continually disapproved and monitored Josie’s every decision and behaviour. However, as the novel progresses, Josie realises that they have a lot in common and when she discovers her family secrete, she found out Katia’s betrayal against her deep Italian cultures when she broke free from those pressures. From Nonna’s act, Josie realises that she is not the only one who is confused and suffocated from her Italian heritage and becomes aware that defying culture traditions isn’t as an immoral thing as she seems.
Jacob Coote has a great significance on Josie’s life, teaching her and maturing her through important life rules. He is the one that always reminds her to be and individual and don’t be defined by what everyone says. He is also the first one to tell Josie that she shouldn’t only think about the ways that others treat her but the way she treats
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