Frank's Growing Sense of Unease as Rita Becomes More Educated

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Frank's Growing Sense of Unease as Rita Becomes More Educated

In the play 'Educating Rita', Willy Russell shows the growing

relationship between the two main characters, Frank and Rita. Both are

very different from each other, yet a bond is immediately established

between them in the early stages of the play. We first see Frank to be

an unorthodox, nonchalant university lecturer who has a drink problem,

a failing relationship and who is unhappy with his work and life.

However, Rita is seen to be very different to him. As the audience,

our first impressions of Rita are that she is of working-class origin,

she is very extrovert and confident. An example of this is seen in act

one, scene one, in which she bursts in through the door showing no

manners and says "I'm comin' in, aren't I? It's that stupid bleedin'

handle on the door." This tells us immediately that she is working

class, as she uses colloquial language with a local dialect, and shows

no manners. She is very different to Frank who is very formal and does

not swear. When Franks asks her a question, Frank says "pardon",

whereas Rita then follows with the word "what?" This immediately

creates a contrast Rita has applied to the Open University to become

more educated, something she sees to be a trait of middle class

people. She has decided to do a literature course because she wants to

"see" and not to read "the sort of poetry you can understand". She

wants Frank to teach her "everything" so she can change from the

person she is now; to the sort of person she wants to be. The play is

the story of their relationship and the way it develops both as

teacher-student and on a more pers...

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...f the play, by concluding Rita's change, Frank's feelings

towards her and his final acceptance of the person she now is. Frank

used to be attracted to her, and thought her to be a very interesting

character, whereas now, she has none of the traits which attracted him

to her, and so he now purely sees her as a friend, however he is still

uneasy about what the future holds. Throughout the play, we see how

Frank's feelings change from being attracted to her, to being cold and

arrogant towards her in scene two of the second act. The ending

Russell has chosen however, has no definite conclusion, and lets us

imagine what might happen between the two characters in the future.

However, as Frank now does not like Rita as much due to her change, it

seems their relationship has runs its course, and there is no future

for the two.
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