How does the protagonist of the following story feel about her Italian culture identity? Provide a quote. (Story in the description)
My emancipation didnt happen like I expected it to.
I thought maybe Id wake up one morning and see the light. Feel liberated from everything. Or maybe one particular incident would see me through it. But it happened while I was hysterically crying again.
It was after receiving a birthday card from Jacob which I threw in the bin. I just say there thinking back on the year and I realised that I was emancipated long ago. It wasn’t at one particular point either, it was several. The hang-ups I once had were superseded, but not with other hangups as much as with a few sorrows.
I remembered feeling socially out of it at St Marthas, yet when the fiasco of the walkathon happened, I realised I wasnt. I thought my birth circumstances were a cross I’d bear for the rest of my life, but what had happened between Nonna and Marcus Standford made me realise that it had never been my cross. I had only made it mine.
And the different cultures thing?
Well, Im not sure whether everyone in this country will ever understand multiculturalism and that saddens me because it’s as much part of Australian life as football and meat-pies. But the important thing is that I know where my place in life is. It’s not where the Seras or the Carlys of the world have slotted me.
If someone comes up and asks 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 this with pride because it’s pride that I feel.
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Through much of the earlier part of the story, the protagonist is uncomfortable with her identity as a girl from a poor Italian family. Gradually, as she matures, she realizes that her family background is not a “cross to bear” and does not in any way constrain her future, but is just one part of her identity. The progression of the story is basically one of reconciliation with her family and her multicultural identity. She eventually comes to realizes that her Italian heritage is not something opposed to being Australian, but rather makes her part of Australian multiculturalism and she learns to feel proud rather than embarrassed about it:
“If someone comes up and asks 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 this with pride because it’s pride that I feel.”
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