Educating Rita by Willy Russell Essay

Educating Rita by Willy Russell Essay

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Educating Rita by Willy Russell

"Educating Rita" displays the major changes that occur in the main
character, an initially narrow minded, outspoken and socially naïve
Liverpudlian trapped by her working class life. Rita thinks an
increase in intelligence and worldly knowledge will change this, and
set her "free". She strives to change classes, and although is
different from her working class peers, she still isn't ready to be
accepted as middle class. She aims to reach her goal through an Open
University course, yet naively thinks knowing what books to read and
clothes to wear will allow her to immediately become accepted as part
of her chosen social strata. Change is a major part of the play,
affecting Rita in both positive and negative ways. It shows how the
influence of education helps to bring about these changes, and how
eventually Rita is able to overcome and negative problems and settle
on a happy balance. Rita is also molded by her tutor, Frank, and
learns a great deal from him, whilst also teaching him in many ways.

Rita's bright, bold, bubbly character is revealed in the very first
scene, as the two characters are introduced. She makes a very dramatic
entrance, bursting through the door, swearing, and immediately drawing
all attention to her. She isn't really sure how to act, and her
insecurity and nerves make her appear in such a loud manner. 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 cheekily and informally. For example, not only
does she ask Frank if she can smoke, but she also gets out her
cigarettes before he has had a chance to answer. She even offers him
one, trying...


... middle of paper ...


...re 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
reflects the theme of choice, by letting viewers decide what happens,
but also for the characters to decide and change which way they will
go and what choices they will make.

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