Willy Russell's Educating Rita

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From your study of Willy Russell's Educating Rita, describe which character in the play changes the most Explain: · How the characters change · The characters role in the play · How the playwright uses dramatic devices · How the use of language shows these changes · How these changes reflect the social, historical and cultural background. The play 'Educating Rita' was written by Willy Russell in 1985, for all the 'Rita's' and all the 'Frank's' in the audience. The play is based on Willy Russell's life so it could be interpreted as an autobiographical play. Like Rita, Russell did not study at school so he did not have any O levels, so he wanted an education to get away from Hairdressing like Rita wanted an education to see what she could become. At this point in the play Frank can tell Rita anything and she will listen and believe all of it. As time goes on she looses this hunger for knowledge because of summer school and her flatmate Trish that dramatically changes Rita. At the end of the play the two characters seem to have changed roles, Rita comes back from summer school and knows more then she ever thought she could and discovers that the 'proper students' are not as good and intelligent as she thought. Franks relationship with Julia is breaking down and the banishment to Australia seems more and more imminent. The two seem to swap roles because Frank used to tell Rita things and she would try and understand it, but the return from summer school shows that she has memorised Blake poetry and has significantly changed. Rita is driven by the need for education, having realised that life has more to offer then her ordinary existence in the hairdressing salon. Rita says to Frank that b... ... middle of paper ... ...that there is only one thing for her to do to thank him so he sits down and the audience gets the impression of something sexual about to happen but Rita gets a pair of scissors and begins to cut Franks hair. In this scene the dramatic device used is one for humour. Educating Rita is mainly about a character trying to find the right words to express herself, and as she becomes more educated Rita learns to adapt her language to different audiences. Rita's increasing mastery of the language helps her to grow more confident. In the character of Rita, Willy Russell was reaching out to an audience whose daily language was not of the theatre or the university but to all the Franks and Rita's in the audience. Rita attempts to change her language to the proper use of words, because of what Trish said: 'you can't discuss beautiful literature with an ugly voice.'
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