Growing up on Grace

6 June 2016

In ‘Growing up on Grace’, the autobiography written by Rosie Dimanno, she comes to realize at an early age that she is living in a country with completely different cultural beliefs than what she has been learning from her Italian household.

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Rose attempts to abandon her Italian culture by asking her mom to do un-Italian things like shave her legs. Throughout the autobiography Rose desperately wants a Canadian identity suggested by her refusing to do a variety of things such as refusing to go to catholic school.

Rosie had come to the realization at an early age that she was in fact, a Canadian. Her parents had always shown her the Italian way and this made it difficult to fit in with the Canadian culture. Rosie explains that when she was young and her mother never used to shave her legs she was totally mortified by her mother’s pure Italian-ness. She had begged her mother to shave her legs. She had finally done so but her mother never understood the fuss.

This suggests that Rosie had was always going to shave her legs in an attempt to fit in with the Canadian culture. Rosie explains that her parents would always have hardcore Italian foods in the house. Her mother would often pack her lunches with these foods and Rosie would just throw them in the garbage to save the embarrassment from being judged by her peers at school.

‘Growing up on Grace’ describes how Rosie attempts to gain her own Canadian identity by doing things like refusing to go to catholic school, refusing to kiss the aunts and uncles, refusing to eat anything with tomatoes in it and refusing to speak Italian. In Italian tradition, education is not highly valued because of fears of rebelling.

Rosie never actually successfully adopts a Canadian Identity. She travels to Italy at the end and says that she “felt as if (she) belonged” (Rosie Dimanno) suggesting that she never really found a true Canadian Identity otherwise it might have been the other way around, she would have felt like she didn’t belong.

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