Looking for Alibrandi


Composers use various language techniques to create themes and convey relevant issues in their texts. In Melina Marchettas’s “Looking for Alibrandi” she focuses on identity, class, multiculturalism and sexism and her main themes. The language techniques used throughout the novel strengthen these themes. “Looking for Alibrandi” uses techniques such as dialogue, realism, setting and narration style to tell the story of Josephine Alibrandi’s last year of high school and her journey to find freedom within herself.

At the start of “Looking for Alibrandi” we are presented with Josephine Alibrandi, a young Italian girl who is childish and careless. Throughout the novel she has many experiences that contribute to her growth into a more sensitive person that she becomes by the end of the novel. This explores the theme of identity as well as the way Marchetta uses language techniques to highlight how a person’s identity can change. This can be seen by the relationship between Ivy and Josie, how much they despised each other at the start of the novel, to then start being civil by the end of the book after their dear friend John Barton took his life.

In this novel differences in class are explored through the use of realism and dialogue. This is especially obvious in the way Josie and Jacob speak and opposed to John and Ivy. Sera’s class is also highlighted by the way she speaks. For example, when she says “Good, Josie. Walk to Martin Place” in chapter 2 when the girls don’t want to get in her boyfriend’s car. This shows us that she does what she wants when she wants without considering others feelings and beliefs.

Realistic dialogue also helps convey the theme of multiculturalism as shown through Nonna’s mispronunciation of words throughout the novel. This can be shown in the line “You misintrepid everything, Jozzie” and is especially made obvious when Josie corrects her by saying “It’s mis-interpret everything”. Another example of...