Looking for Alibrandi and Breath by Tim Winton Essay Example
Looking for Alibrandi and Breath by Tim Winton Essay Example

Looking for Alibrandi and Breath by Tim Winton Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (1057 words)
  • Published: December 10, 2016
  • Type: Essay
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The prescribed text, "Looking for Alibrandi", and a related text both analyze the process of changing perspectives and its impact on personal growth. When individuals face challenging or traumatic experiences, they often feel alone and isolated. However, it is in these moments of solitude that we are encouraged to reflect on and accept the situation. This reflection can cause us to reassess our initial beliefs and ultimately develop a stronger gratitude for life and a deeper self-awareness.

The idea of adversity leading to personal enrichment is clearly depicted in the 1999 film 'Looking for Alibrandi' directed by Kate Woods and the 2008 novel 'Breath' by Tim Winton. Both texts explore how setbacks can ultimately enhance one's life. In 'Looking for Alibrandi,' the audience is immersed in a year of protagonist Josie Alibrandi's life. Josie, a 17-year-old third generation Italian Australian


teenager, initially bases her identity on her social ambitions.

Woods uses a sepia filtered lens and voiceover in the opening scene to effectively portray Josie's indifference toward her family and cultural heritage. This emphasizes how outdated they seem to her, underscoring her focus on self-identity and longing for cultural independence. As a result, she initially fails to recognize the importance of family and other significant elements of life.

The protagonist Bruce 'Pikelet' Pike narrates the story of his youth in Tim Winton's novel Breath. Pike reflects on significant events from his past, focusing on the risky adventures he engages in to escape his lonely life as an only child with unstimulating elderly parents. These exploits also serve to fulfill his addiction to adrenaline. Winton effectively conveys Pikelet's initial feelings of isolation throug

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emotive language, evoking empathy from the reader: "I was a lone child and solitary by nature...".

Having the age of my parents made me feel different. Similar to Josie, Pikelet doesn't value his family and ends up leaving them to pursue his desire for greatness. He goes to extreme lengths and even puts his own safety at risk. This is later referred to as a rebellion against the dullness of simply being alive, which is a recurring theme in the novel.

Pikelet, like Josie Alibrandi, lives a self-indulgent life, driven by ambitious behavior and unable to recognize the values that give life true meaning. Both protagonists are presented with catalytic experiences that allow them to discover a deeper appreciation for life and personal growth. The sudden death of John Barton serves as a pivotal moment in Josie's life, prompting her to reassess her initial beliefs about her identity and the significance of family.

Woods has intentionally included the funeral scene in order to effectively convey the importance of John's death to Josie. The somber atmosphere is depicted through the use of slow-paced, low-toned, redundant music and lyrics that are not part of the on-screen action, as John's coffin is carried through a row of mourning friends and family. A close-up shot of Josie's pained facial expression as John's body passes by implies the inner emotional turmoil she is going through. However, at the same time, this passing coffin symbolizes her acknowledgement of him slowly drifting away from her and out of her life.

Woods further emphasizes her acceptance of John's death by using symbolism at the end of the scene. By

shredding his letter and releasing the pieces out of the window, she symbolizes "letting go" and granting John the freedom he wanted. At the same time, Josie's sense of isolation and detachment after John's passing is shown in a bus ride scene. A closeup shot focuses on Josie's face, while a group of joyful boys, oblivious to her internal struggles, provide a contrast.

In the latter part of Winton's novel, Pikelet is confronted with his father's sudden death, which serves as a significant catalyst. This event compels him to reconsider the importance of family and gain a deeper appreciation for life. Left only with a mother, Pikelet now comprehends the swift and profound nature of death. He characterizes his father's passing as a personal blow delivered with focused intensity. The metaphorical depiction of death highlights the gravity of its effect on Pikelet, as if it were alive and trying to communicate something to him.

Winton clearly depicts Pikelet's transformation in his views on family and life. At the start of the novel, Pikelet was obsessed with becoming extraordinary. However, he now recognizes the importance of his family and expresses a desire to compensate his mother. He strives to be a dutiful son, reflecting his newfound respect and care towards his family. This shift in perspective is highlighted by the use of the word 'dutiful' and showcases Pikelet's changed attitude.

The text captures the mid-life u-turn he experiences using metaphorical language, specifically saying "I went on and had another life." This is further supported by the optimistic tone of "I'm gonna put it all behind me and move on." Wood uses a framing

device in the final scene of Tomato Day to portray Josie's newfound respect for her family and eventual acceptance of her cultural heritage, marking one year passing in her life.

Woods has contrasted this scene with the opening scene to assess Josie's revised personal viewpoints on different aspects of life compared to her initial, superficial values portrayed during the original Tomato Day scene. The optimistic atmosphere created through joyful and repetitive music, conversations between characters, natural sounds of laughter and conversation, relaxed body language between characters, and equal positioning all contribute to convey the idea that while changing one's perspective can be uncomfortable and challenging, it often leads to a positive outcome.

The narrator of Josie's story shares that she used to dream of being someone impressive and famous, someone that others would envy. However, she has since realized that what truly matters is how she feels about herself, highlighting her changed perspective and newfound appreciation for her own identity and life values.

The idea that facing difficult or traumatic experiences can often make a person appreciate life more and gain a deeper understanding of themselves is expressed in both "Looking for Alibrandi" and "Breath." Both protagonists undergo a period of change and are compelled to reassess their core beliefs. This change in viewpoint ultimately leads to personal growth.

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