Willy Russell's Educating Rita
‘Educating Rita’ explores the way in which a woman, in her late twenties, Rita, has to deal with everyday life, conflict change and different phases as she becomes educated. The play is based on Willy Russell’s own life. At the start of the play, Frank is a more relaxed character. Rita is a hyper and open minded character, searching for adventure. She comes from the working class society and tries to become educated and well respected. Frank on the other hand is from the upper-class society, well educated but has lost most of his respect through drinking. As the play progresses Frank starts to show a romantic and affectionate side of himself towards Rita, she starts to move away from Frank as she makes new friends and as she becomes more educated, creating a sense of jealousness in Frank.
Russell focuses on Franks actions in the beginning of the play. Frank is a relaxed character that gets excited by alcohol “Jubilantly he moves to the Dickens section and pulls out a pile of books to reveal a bottle of whiskey.” The quotation implies that Frank secretively drinking and hiding his alcohol from others view. The quote could also be used as a metaphor where the alcohol is his real life being hidden from other people. He feels bad about drinking nevertheless he feels compelled and destined to do it
The language that Frank uses is very upper class compared to Rita. He mentions that he swears a lot. Even though he never swore once in the play. This might be a sign of respect towards Rita, as she is a woman. These signs show that he is well raised, even though he just stopped caring about others. “You just pop off and put your head in the in the oven.” This quote is form a telephone conversation with his girlfriend Julia. He is Rather mean to her, from the quote we can find that the relationship is not going to last. It shows dislike towards her.
His attitudes to life are very dull; he is a less renowned poet that has not produced a poem in a while most probably because of his wife that left him.