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Josie adheres to this cultural requirement and does it yearly and although feels embarrassed to do so continues along this tradition.Josie does question the tradition and asks ‘Why can’t we go to Franklins and buy Leggos or Paul Newman’s special sauce’ (pg 171).This day is a tradition that all the Alibrandi women respect and adhere to although this tradition is a perfect use of cultural conflict for Josie.
Marchetta’s protagonist Josie is clearly an Italo-Australia with neither of her two cultural backgrounds ‘owning’ the other.
Her cultural diversity is clear, but the labeling of her as Italo – Australian is also a very useful tool for her as she chooses when ‘to be Italian and when to be Australian’, a trait many third generation immigrants face today and will continue to face into the future.
But then later in the text comments that ‘Like all tomato days we had spaghetti that night, made by our own hands. A tradition that I probably will never let go of either, simply because it is like a religion, culture is nailed into you so deep you can’t escape it. ’ (pg 174) Nothing more explicitly highlights the willingness of Josie to drop her ethnicity when it serves her purpose than this quote . Another example of Josie’s ability, need and willingness to change her culture when she feels fit to do so.
Josie Alibrandi has ties to Italian culture through both the women in her life but it is as her relationships with Jacob and John develop her willingness and ability to ‘drop’ or ‘change’ her ethnicity becomes more evident. The effect of the strategies used by Marchetta to display Italian culture (Katia) and Italo – Australian culture (Christina) has a massive effect over the protagonist Josie.
The ideology of marriage in Italian culture is shown when Katia explains to Josie about a marriage- ‘Eleanora Castano who married Bob Jones and now they’re divorced. Because he’s Australian and she’s Italian, of course. The second ideology of marrying into your own culture is one that Josie uses when she feels the need, she is quoted as saying “Wogs marry the wogs”(pg 144).
This was said in a sarcastic way that was more of a criticism of her Italian background than anything else.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.Nancy Tran FOR ALIBRANDI – QUOTES (1992 Puffin edition) “My mother was born here so as far as the Italians were concerned we weren’t completely one of them. 114) “ ‘These poor Australians who are not used to the Italians do not know what to do. Yet because my grandparents were born in Italy we weren’t completely Australian.” (p. Mama, I have already disgraced myself in their eyes and there will never be anything to change that, so who cares if they talk about me? 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.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.Essay 1 – ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ ‘How are the differences between Australian and Italo-Australian culture displayed by Marchetta and what effects do they have on the protagonist Josie?” Melina Marchetta’s cult text ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ looks at many issues of growing up in Australia torn between two cultures.