Ruby van Hamersveld – Journal 1

Looking for Alibrandi is a novel filled with passion, the reality of not quite fitting into a minority ethnic group and the longing to be appreciated and accepted amongst those around her. Josephine Alibrandi is a witty, confident, self-assured and rebellious teenager who plans to work in law firm. With her six-year scholarship to a “posh school”, her illegitimacy and her fiery Italian heritage, Josephine is made to feel ‘disadvantaged’ and ‘unworthy’ for immersing herself into a society that is filled with rich Europeans who believe that she is incapable of living up to a standard that is deemed to be ‘acceptable’. Apart from school life, being part of a strict Catholic Italian family, and born to an unmarried mother has its own battles. Constantly feuding with her Nonna and the secret criticism from other Italian relatives she is made to feel as though she is not a ‘true Italian’ as she is seen as a half cast. Despite all of this, Josephine exudes the integrity she has for herself and for the ones she loves as she plans to out-smart the students believing that she is “just as smart as they are” or more (pg 8). I see her as a strong, independent woman with a longing of being free and to be seen as neither Italian, Australian nor an in-between, rather being herself and to feel emancipated rather than constricted and confined by archaic Italian traditions.

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