– Changing Perspective. Essay, Research Paper
?Discuss how your understanding of the concept of change and changing perspective has been shaped by the novel, Looking for Alibrandi.?Looking for Alibrandi is a novel which mostly deals with the concept of emotional change. Through a number of characters, the author, Melina Marchetta demonstrates clearly the concept of change and changing perspective. A variety of events happen throughout the novel to these characters which influence their lives and change their perspectives. Through these events Marchetta shows that change and change of perspective can be triggered by certain events and experiences, it can be gradual, it is a natural part of growing up, every person faces their own perspectives and that adolescence is a time of rapid change.
A key event in the novel that changes Josephine Alibrandi?s perspective is the meeting of her father, Michael Andretti. Initially, before Josephine has never even met Michael, she resents him. She feels that he abandoned her mother while she was pregnant. When she first meets him however she gets the impression that he is intelligent and a decent human being, though she doesn?t make it known to him. After Josephine gets into a fight at school with Carly Bishop, Carly?s father threatens legal action. In the spur of the moment, Josephine says her father is a lawyer and he is called up and asked to come to the school. Unexpectedly, he arrives and the issue is resolved. As Josephine is walking along side her father, it is at this moment when she has a change of perspective. She likes the feeling of having a father figure. Marchetta has demonstrated that change can be triggered by singular events.
Michael Andretti also faces a similar change in perspective of his daughter. When Michael first discovers that Josephine is his daughter he says, ?I do not want to see her. I do not want to love her. I do not want a complication in my life.? He is very negative and does not want to have anything to do with her. As the novel progresses, Josephine and Michael begin to bond together and enjoy each other?s company. Michael faces a change in his perspective on fatherhood. He is at first in denial and does not want anything to do with Josie, but as certain events unfold, he wants to become a big part of her life and get to know what he has missed out on. Michael?s change in perspective is a gradual one.
Another major change in perspective seen in the novel is Josephine?s view of her own identity. Initially, Josephine believes that her appearance and ethnic background is the determining factor in her social acceptance. She also believes that because she is at a wealthy school on a scholarship and has no father she is looked down upon. When Josephine is told by a teacher at her school, Sister Louise that she was actually voted school captain but was given the role of vice captain because they felt she lacked the leadership skills and that her and her friends are in fact trendsetters within the school looked upon with envy, she has a sudden change in perspective on herself. She has always lacked self esteem and was very conscious of what others thought of her, but now has realised she is actually one of the most popular girls in school which is a great confidence boost for her. At that moment, Josephine says, ?I knew deep down that I was wrong and I think that my emancipation began at that moment.?
Also on the theme of identity is Josephine?s culture and her change in perspective of it. This is a more gradual change than her the perspective on herself, though there is one particular event which really makes her think about her culture. John Barton?s death makes Josephine realise that her culture and her family is not so bad. She realises that others have it much worse than her. Eventually Josephine decides, ?You can?t hate what you are apart of.? At first Josie thought that her background stopped her from being herself but later realises that her culture makes up who she is and that she cannot break free of it. This change in perspective is also shown through the annual ?Tomato Day.? This is an expression of the Alibrandi family?s heritage. Initially Josephine is ashamed of her family?s yearly ritual and would hate it if anybody found out about it, but in the end states that she will always take part in it because it is part of her culture and her culture makes up her own identity.
Marchetta also demonstrates that having increased knowledge and knowing all the facts can bring about a change in perspective. A number of events occur in the novel, which illustrate this. A prime example is when Josephine discovers that her father, Michael Andretti did not run away from her mother, Christina because she was pregnant. Josephine had resented her father her whole life because she believed this was the reason, but she finds out he did not even know Christina was pregnant at the time when he and his family moved to Adelaide, in fact, he didn?t even know that he had a daughter until recently. This drastically changes the way that Josephine sees her father. Another example of a change in perspective due to increased knowledge is her perspective of her grandmother, known as ?Nonna.? She discovers that she was in an arranged marriage to someone she did not know and that she fell pregnant with an Australian, Marcus Sanford. After gaining the facts, Josephine realises that her Nonna isn?t as bad as she had initially thought. She comes to realise that she is only human, and in many ways, as a young woman was similar to herself.
Melina Marchetta helps to shape our view on the concept of change and changing perspective through a variety of different events. It is demonstrated that change can be both a positive or negative thing and that every person faces their own changes throughout their lives. By showing change through a couple of characters, Marchetta also shows that change and changing perspectives can be dealt with in different ways by different people.