Looking For Alibrandi Nonna Essay

Josie later states ‘They stifle me with ridiculous rules and regulations they have bought with them from Europe, but they haven’t changed with the times like the Europeans have’. This highlights her fight between cultures and the forming of the Italio-Australian culture.Marchetta again uses great character constructions to present this battle and it is through the varying ‘severity’ of the ethnicity of the characters Katia, Christina and finally Josie that assist in making her point.

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Katia asks Josie ‘Why do other Italian Girls have Italian boyfriends and you date an Australian? Josie comments that ‘They stifle me with ridiculous rules and regulations they have bought with them from Europe, but they haven’t changed with the times like the Europeans have’. This shows her frustration as to the traditions and rules that she is forced to abide buy, but she later comments her thoughts on her traditions, “A tradition is something that we’ll never let go. Marchetta uses the main characters and numerous situations and scenes where Josie moves from one culture to the other to appease family, friends or the scene she is in.

A tradition that I probably will never let go of either, simply because there are some things that could offend people I love. This flexibility of changing cultures when Josie needs to is proof of the strong female roles models in her life and their cultural differences.

Parents of second-generation Italo-Australian girls viewed domestic skills, chastity and obedience as requirements for a girl’s good reputation, which is closely associated with family honor.

This is very clear through the construction of Katia Alibrandi and her thoughts of a daughter being the refection of a mother.

This is a tool Marchetta has used in her writing to display the value for the teenage protagonist to have the option to move from one culture to the other gain ‘the best of both worlds’. Her inability to fully understand and appreciate the battles her grandmother had to overcome as well as the changes her mother has had to endure in dealing with her own ethnicity mould the character. This again shows the battle Josie fights in trying to find herself inside her culture and the continually changing culture she lives in.

Josie’s awareness of the popular preconceptions about Italian girls is evident, for instance, when she informs Jacob that her dress is a potential family heirloom, made of fabric from her glory box, and demands that he avert his gaze from her underwear (pg96) whilst in another area of the text Josie displays the Australia side of her culture by dating an Australian boy (Jacob). Josie’s involvement in mainstream Australian culture through her schooling and some of her friends allows her to see the opposite lifestyle to that offered by her Italian culture. As an teenage girl following a strict Italian culture Josie Alibrandi fails, as a teenage girl following an Australian culture she also fails but slotting in between in the Italo-Australian culture Josie finds her calling.The main protagonist Josie Alibrandi was born in Australia into a family with strong Italian cultural links and her battle to ‘find’ herself and her ethnicity is one that I will explore further.Before exploring Josie’s ethnicity it is important to outline its meaning.This continual put down of the culture allows Josie to gain an understanding of the importance of the Italian culture.Marchetta uses this tool well as Katia is not only judging Josie and her growing Australian culture but also judges Christina, her culture and the development of the newly formed ‘Italo – Australian’ culture.“A daughter’s behaviour always reflects on how good a mother is. Her expectations on Josie to be a ‘good Italian girl’ weigh heavily on the protagonist but also provide her with a great set of well constructed guidelines to fall back on when she feels the need.Her willingness to drop her Italian heritage when a conflict arose is something that has taken her 17 years to understand and to be able operate but took her mother a much longer period and still is yet to have any effect on Katia as whenever conflict arises or she feels pressure she speaks fluent Italian and is shown to be the total opposite to Josie as she displays traits linked with Australian culture, to the point where Katia is quoted asking Christina ‘Where is the Culture?Christina Alibrandi fulfils the requirements of her Italian Culture but also is involved in several behaviours that suggest she has moved away from the strict guidelines outlined by her mother Katia. Katia often mentions that Christina bought ‘disgrace’ onto the Alibrandi family name after she had Josie out of wedlock.Christina has been constructed by Marchetta in a way that shows her movement from strong Italian culture to a more moderate Italo-Australian culture. The ideology of marriage is highlighted by Marchetta through several quotes by Katia.she (Josie) will marry an Australian and their kids will eat fish and chips’.Again a derogatory comment made by Katia indicating her dislike for the Australian culture after her bad experiences in it.


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