Educating Rita

785 Words2 Pages
Educating Rita

Civilization has a tendency to attempt to divide people into different groups. Our environment weighs and measures us; then places us into a certain company.

Frank and Rita are the very example of two persons placed in very different social compartments. Their places in society differ greatly as do their roles as student and teacher. And yet as one examines the script of Educating Rita it seems as though two people, who society has attempted to separate from each other in every possible way, still have the world in common.

The first big difference in the two characters' social status is their sex. Rita is a woman, Frank is a man. Though we may try to deny it, there is quite a difference between what is expected from men and women. Age as well plays a large part in terms of theses expectations. Frank is middle-aged whereas Rita is still in her late twenties. Rita is facing masses of peer pressure, it is expected of her that she should now have children and become a housewife. Her being fairly young and married, the thought of her going back to school instead of having babies is unheard of, quite abnormal, and even unacceptable.

Frank, in contrast, is a middle-aged man and a divorcé. As far as social pressure is concerned, he is now free to do his liking. He has already filled his middle-class duties; he is educated, he has something of a career and he has been married. He now has a girlfriend, which people regard that he is entitled to. Nobody expects him to make a deeper commitment to his girlfriend, due, it seems, to the fact that he has already been married once. These differences lead to a certain lack of empathy on Frank's behalf.

Frank doesn't understand Rita's situation, the social pressure put on her is incomprehensible to him.

Frank believes that life is a simple matter: don't love your husband anymore, get a divorce; don't want to have children, don't have children. What he does not see, is that Rita is bound by the ways of her society, she's not allowed to differ from her mates, which has a greater impact on her than Frank seems to realise.

In a way of thinking, Frank is free and Rita is not. Rita is bound by a lot of expectations to live up to, whereas Frank has leave to simply enjoy the rest of his
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