“Looking for Alibrandi” by Melina Marchetta

Essay by breepobieHigh School, 10th gradeB, September 2014

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"To encourage a young person to think for themselves is more important than teaching them to live within the boundaries placed upon them in society"

The encouragement of self-reliance and thinking is important within young people of todays society, and is

arguably of similar or greater relevance to teaching them to live within the means of societies boundaries. In

the novel "Looking for Alibrandi" by Melina Marchetta, the themes of traditionalism, cultural boundaries associated with relationships, identity, social acceptance and belonging are explored, highlighting the

pressures of today's society, and revealing how these issues are ongoing messages for today. The

protagonist of the book, Josephine Alibrandi, reveals issues of pressures of conforming to her family's

cultural beliefs and traditions, and how her journey into understanding her heritage has shaped her ability in

making her own decisions in the future.

Firstly, many young people in today's society feel the ongoing pressures of family heritage, and cultural

traditions expected to be carried on, and cherished throughout their lives. Although it is important for one to

acknowledge their family traditions and heritage, there is a point where an individual must make their own

decisions for themselves and decide to live their lives in way where one takes on certain qualities or

variations of the culture they feel necessary. This importance of individuals thinking for themselves is

strongly depicted in the book "Looking for Alibrandi" through the theme of traditionalism when Josie is

making spaghetti with her family on 'Tomato Day', a cultural tradition that occurs every year. Josie states

"Like all tomato days we had spaghetti that night. Made by our own hands. A tradition that weʼll never let go. A tradition that I will probably never let go either, simply because like religion, culture is nailed...