Educating Rita By Willy Russell and The Social, Historical And Cultural Context Of Britain In The Late 1970's

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"Educating Rita" By Willy Russell and The Social, Historical And Cultural Context Of Britain In The Late 1970's 'Educating Rita' by 'Willy Russell relates to the social, historical and cultural context of Britain in the late 1970's throughout the play and this extremely strong and believable reference to these three subjects contribute to a good piece of drama. 'Willy Russell' makes these references in everything, from the smallest detail, Rita's hair colour to the extreme stereotyping of each of the two classes. These experiences are based on 'Russell's' own life and the character of 'Rita' is a mirror of him, because of this it is a strong and realistic account of the 1970's. 'Rita' has shared the same experiences as 'Russell' in both school and work, they were both under pier pressure not to do well and school and would be singled out if they studied. Rita: "But studyin' was just for wimps, wasn't it? See, if I'd started takin' school seriously I would have become different from me mates, an' that's not allowed." Because of this attitude to school, or the attitude school gave them, both 'Rita' and 'Russell' ended up in a dead end hairdressing job, but both of them decided they would change there life and both began to break away. I think that because so much reference is realistic due to the above, an audience of 1979 or 1980 when they play was shown would have been able to relate so well to the characters, especially people in there twenties or forties now because they would be able to remember what it was like for them when they went to school or university and they would be filled with past memories and emotions, a sign of good drama, something that can evoke emotions. During the play the characters of 'Rita' and 'Frank are the biggest demonstration of cultural difference. Rita represents the working class culture and stands for what they were, a class who strived to escape their dead end jobs and make a better life for themselves, Frank, on the other hand is the representation of the working class. Although some might say he is a disgrace to his culture he is a perfect example of the middle classes, someone who has it handed to them on a plate and they take it for granted. These differences are first noticed at the beginning of the play, in 'Rita's' opening scenes. She misses the ends off of her sentences that are usually grammatically in correct; she speaks in restricted code. Frank, the middle class man speaks in grammatically correct sentences and also uses, elaborate code.

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