‘Looking for Alibrandi is a novel by Melinda Marchetta about a young 3rd generation Italian migrant in Australia. It deals with several issues of both past and present migrants, showing similarities and differences between the different generations. This novel probably targets those who are of similar to decent to the protagonist, Josie, who are 2nd or 3rd generation migrants in a new country. It would allow them to relate and understand that racism is not something that should halt or prevent integration into another nation.
This novel would also teach them that it is important to protect and maintain their parents’ and grandparents’ traditions and cultures even though they are in a different country. It could also be targeted at those in similar decent to Josie’s grandmother who is a first generation migrant. It could teach them to not allow their ignorance to overcome the need to be united with people even if they are not of the same culture or nation. The dominant reading of this text is that racism can create barriers between people even if they are not physically separated.
These barriers can be lowered or even dissolved by accepting both one’s culture and another’s, which is the resolution at the end of the novel. This text can be read relatively easily, without resistance, because there are many different perspectives put forward and there are a vast majority of migrants, even those not in Australia, that can relate to the separation. There are not typical stereotypes used because the purpose of the text is to understand that beneath the fact that they are from different countries they are all human.
Within an excerpt of the novel, a recount Josie’s grandmother makes, there are a number of literary techniques used to emphasise certain areas of her migration to Australia. The first is that there is a constant repetition, “We were ignorant. They were ignorant. ” This particular quotation focuses on the word “ignorant” further proving people were self-imposing barriers between them. It shows that they didn’t want to become involved with each other, that they didn’t want to become united.
The writer decides to have the grandmother speak in a very straightforward manner, “They didn’t want to talk to us. ” Which allows the reader to understand the issues of that time without having to read through too much description. This also allows the reader to understand that Josie’s grandmother is not a native speaker as she cannot elaborate and must speak in a very blatant manner. There are also several pronunciation mistakes such as not as “nut” and Josie as “Jozzie”.
This can help the emphasise the Australian perspective of migrant Australia by making it obvious that the character is Italian and is presenting their perspective of Australia. In conclusion, the text’s purpose is present a complication, the racism, then resolve it by the end. In this novel Josie is presented with the harsh reality of living as a 3rd generation migrant but by the end decides that even though she is living in another country she is still Italian and has successfully united with this other country, Australia. If someone comes up and askes me what nationality I am, I’ll look at them and say that I’m an Australian with Italian blood flowing rapidly through my veins. I’ll say that with pride, because it’s pride that I feel. ” This further explains that two nations can be united together and thbat a person can feel a sense of belonging to multiple countries. This text presents both a negative and positive light on migrant Australia, contrasting, not completely, from the other two texts. This shows how controversial migrant Australia is and how different perspectives can show different sides of topics.