Looking for Alibrandi: Multicultralism Vs Peer Pressure

Topics: Culture, Melina Marchetta, Multiculturalism Pages: 2 (744 words) Published: February 12, 2014
Looking for Alibrandi {1992} is a novel written by Melina Marchetta, which presents to us the internal conflict that immigrant children face in a multicultural society. Throughout the novel Josephine Alibrandi struggles to find her personal and cultural identity, she is trying to find who she is. At school she experiences a feeling of being different and endures prejudice of other students who have not learnt to accept or appreciate anyone different from themselves. Through her last year she learns how important family, culture and tradition is to her. These themes I have found relevant to me as a daughter of Polish- Catholic parents growing up in Australia. The style of writing by Marchetta used was common street/school language and settings found all over Australia, the author has enabled most people to identify with the themes she has chosen to present to us.

Melina Marchetta presents us with certain cultural/religious traditions as well as an outsiders view on this. Tomato day, as Josie refers to it ‘National wog day!’(p171). This is a day when all Italians come together and make tomato sauce. Josie is embarrassed about it and does not understand the true meaning and significance of it by asking her grandma why she can not buy a pre-made sauce. I can relate to Josie about being embarrassed about certain cultural traditions, which I did not want people to know about because I was scared of being teased. I also did not understand why it was so special or notable.

Marchetta reverses the plot, were through Josie’s last year at St. Martha’s she learns how important family, culture and tradition are. ‘You can’t hate what you’re part of. What you are. I resent it most of the time, curse it always, but it’ll be a part of me till the day I die… there is this spot inside me that will always be Italian.’ (p152) She begins to understand that all Australians will not realize that it is a multicultural society, but she knows her own place and that is what matters....
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