Josephine Alibrandi is an Italian girl that attends a Caucasian dominated school. She feels that she doesn’t fit in as well as the other girls at St. Martha’s. Josie and her mother live alone in an apartment complex. Josephine mother had her at a young age of 17. Although Josie is defensive and fiercely protective of her mother she is constantly concerned and anxious about the ridicule and gossip that could travel around the Italian community. Along with Josephine ethnicity and parental technicalities Josie earned herself a position at St. Martha’s through a scholarship.
Josie sees herself as a middle class person in an upper class circle. She doesn’t refer to herself as an ethnic or wog but rather a European or of Italian descent. Josephine doesn’t find herself attractive due to her curly hair and glasses. Some of Josephine’s big hang-ups is her ‘arch enemy’ poison ivy, Josephine is constantly competing with her for top spot. Josie is also very focused on the approval of others such as the Italians and nuns at her school. Another hang-up that Josie makes clear is her dad, although not obvious or vocal about it the way that she is so closed off and resentful to the idea of her father adds to the confusion of Josie’s life.
I empathize with Josie because of her self-confusion, she seems really confused with who she wants others to identify her as and even how she wants to identify herself.