Rita's Development as a Character in Educating Rita

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Rita's Development as a Character in Educating Rita

Despite the fact that this play was written 25 years ago we can say

that the message about education giving choices is still relevant

today. During the course of the play Rita shows how she can achieve

what she wanted. We can clearly notice the drastic change there is in

different aspects of her between Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 2 Scene 7. Some

of these aspects are her attitude, her language, her educational

development, her physical appearance and her personal life.

Right at the beginning of the play Rita depends a lot on her family

and husband. They become an obstacle to her when she can't follow her

ambition because of their working class values. They say she should

stop thinking about being an educated woman and concentrate more on

making a family.

"Denny found out I was on the pill again… he burnt all me books."

This is an example of how her husband doesn't like her learning and

how she is dismissing the idea of having children because of that. It

even gets to a point where he burns all her books.

In the play, there is a symbolic meaning in the way she struggles to

open the door of Frank's office the first time she goes in. This is a

way of showing how her learning is going to be difficult: "(from the

doorway): I'm coming in aren't I? It's that stupid bleedin' handle on

the door. You wanna get it fixed!" Later in the play we can see how

she tries to oil the door: "is standing in the doorway, holding a

small can of oil" This shows how she is determined to learn and it's

also another symbolic way of saying that she is going to use every

device she can to achieve her goal...

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...l to follow, which is why she changed her name from

Susan to Rita ( after Rita Mae Brown) on the first place. At one point

she also changes her accent to sound more "sophisticated". These are

clear signs of her lack of self confidence. By the end of the play she

discovers herself truly and even considers doing what was trapping her

before. These were things like having a baby or going to her mother's.

Overall, we can say that Rita makes a drastic change in all the

aspects mentioned above during the course of the play. In the end we

can see a totally different Rita who has achieved her goal and that

although she has come full circle she is quite different to the

original Rita. Even if you didn't know that Russell based the play in

his own life the message about education giving choices is transmitted

very effectively.
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