Willy Russell's Presentation of the Relationship Between Frank and Rita At the start of the play, Frank and Rita can be seen as opposites; Frank is a middle aged male academic, while Rita is a young, female hairdresser. Any relationship between the two seems unlikely, but they warm to each quickly and the audience realises that Frank and Rita are not quite as different to one another as first appearances show. They are both involved in unsatisfactory relationships and want more from life than it seems to offer. The main difference between the two is that, whereas Rita has recognised her unhappiness and is determined to change it through becoming educated, frank is a pessimist and tends to down his sorrow through drinking. Frank and Rita become good friends in the play because Rita needs Frank to teach her, and he needs the freshness and vitality that she brings to his life.
Frank and Rita's Relationship At the start of the play, Frank and Rita can be seen as opposites; Frank is a middle aged academic, whilst Rita is a young, female hairdresser. Any friendship between the two seems unlikely, but they quickly warm to one another as first appearances show. They are both involved in unsatisfactory relationships, and they both want more from life than it seems to offer. The main difference between the characters are that, whereas Rita has recognised her unhappiness and is determined to change it through becoming educated, Frank is more negative and prefers to drown his sorrows in alcohol. Frank and Rita become friends because she needs him to teach her, and he needs the vitality and freshness that she brings to his life.
As the writers follow the thought processes of each character, the reader can identify a sharp contrast in the development of all three. Nora’s fixation on Torvald’s possible revelation of what she’s done causes her to find herself, and realize that he doesn’t love her the way she does him. This allows Nora to make a positive change in her life. This is as opposed to Willy’s thought process leading to misguided suicide, and John’... ... middle of paper ... ...re it is her own self she works to free. Her only escape from her controlling husband is to go inside her mind where she cannot be controlled.
The Playwright Russell wants to show how class affects education. When we first meet Rita we see that she is not the normal student Frank was expecting. She swears and uses informal colloquial language. This makes us think that Rita is not at all nervous about starting Open University and also makes her working class background obvious.
He says, “Everything I know – and you must listen to this – is that I know absolutely nothing.” He thinks literature and high culture have given him nothing in life to value, that’s why he thinks so poorly of his job. In the play Willy Russell tries to show the ways in which Frank and Rita communicate. When Rita first walks into Frank’s room she is full of questions, she has a lot to say. It seems as though she is full of life. Frank describes Rita, “Do you know, I think you’re the first breath of fresh air that’s been in this room for years.” Frank likes it that Rita is different from his other students because the things she says come to her naturally.
Basically she has to make a choice between her education or her family, because as she changes to become a more sophisticated and educated woman, she widens the gap between her and the people in her old life, them being ignorant and uncultured. First of all, it is noticeable that because of Rita's working class background, one particular quality of hers is her lack of self-consciousness, which prevents her from being prudish. This is revealed in Act 1 Scene 1 when Rita comments on Frank's picture on the wall; "Look at those tits," she says bluntly, within minutes of meeting her new tutor. Frank, having had a middle class upbringing is embarrassed by her frank observation. He has the good judgment to realise that on first being acquainted with someone this kind of comment is not really appropriate, whereas Rita is almost like a child, not having the expected amount of subtlety and the sense to be discreet.
It’s that stupid bleedin’ handle on the door. You wanna get it fixed! (She comes into the room) Frank: (Staring, slightly confused) Erm – yes, I suppose I always mean to… This immediately shows the difference between the two characters, how Rita is self confident and how Frank is a bit shocked at this kind of behaviour and it’s the kind of thing he wouldn’t expect from a university student. But these differences change throughout the play Rit... ... middle of paper ... ...the book goes on you can really see the change in Rita and how she doesn’t want to be part of the working class culture anymore. You can see this because she changes her dress sense, the way she talks, her husband and her friends.
Initially she does not understand how to write about it and produces a 'crap' essay. Frank explains that the essay is not bad in terms of a personal response to the play but it does not fulfil the criteria of the course she is doing. Rita accepts this and resolves to write the essay again. Rita's education goes far beyond just reading and responding to books however. When she first comes to the university she is impressed and even a little intimidated by the intelligent people she sees around her.
This shows how little she understands of formal interview situations- one would expect her to appear fairly meekly, maybe shy, and also very formally, yet she acts cheek... ... middle of paper ... ...emes are introduced, including maturity. In the middle of the play, she thinks Frank is a bad teacher, but by the end, she realises that he made all this possible for her, and her maturity means she isn't too stubborn to thank Frank and truly appreciate what he has done for her. Although she changed in negative ways, she learnt from these. She realises that she doesn't want to risk becoming trapped again, like with Denny, but wants to dictate her own destiny with the choices she makes. The ending is left very open, not telling the theatre viewers what happens to either Rita or Frank, but lets you imagine for yourself what paths they take and where and how they live their lives.
This is when Rita becomes jaded with Frank as well. She begins to think that he doesn’t want the best for her, but the best for him and this makes her a good student. She is becoming aware of those around her and is considering her own life choices and making her own decisions. She has begun to take hold of her own life and better her own self not by using Frank, but by using herself. By the end of the play, Rita has passed her exams and she and Frank go their separate ways.