Journal 6 – Ruby van Hamersveld

The social and cultural background of the composer mirror that of the main character, Josephine, and this has influenced the ideas of change that are represented in the text. Melina Marchetta is an Australian author and school teacher of Italian descent. Throughout the novel, Melina’s writing conveys the frustrations, worries and emancipated thoughts and feelings of Josephine Alibrandi who struggles with who she is, what she needs to be and what she wants to be. These themes may possibly highlight Melina’s thoughts and feelings about her own personal experiences of being an Australian of Italian, descent growing in an environment where multiculturalism was new and problematic. One of the struggles that Josie faces is that, “Sometimes I feel that no matter how smart or how beautiful I could be they would still remember me for the wrong things” (p. 138) this could highlight Melina’s experience with cultural differences between Italians and Australians, or of the perceived social status at school. By illustrating the cultural and social background of the composer into the main character Josephine, the text clearly references these issues during the course of the story line.

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