Changes in Rita's Character throughout Educating Rita Essay

Changes in Rita's Character throughout Educating Rita Essay

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Changes in Rita's Character throughout Educating Rita

With reference to the social context of the play, discuss the ways in
which Willy Russell shows the changes in Rita’s character throughout
Educating Rita.

In the play Educating Rita by Willy Russell there are two main
characters, Rita and Frank. Rita is a twenty six year old uneducated
hairdresser. She wants a better life for herself; she wants to have
an education. She didn’t get a full education at school as she says,
‘See, if I’d started takin’ school seriously, I would have had to
become different from me mates, an’ that’s not allowed.” This shows
Rita felt she could never take education seriously because it was for
the ‘wimps’ and she didn’t want to be different to her friends, and
her family didn’t regard education as being important. She goes to
the Open University to further her education in English literature.
In the Open University there is a professor called Frank, he will be
tutoring Rita. Frank has a drinking problem and he also thinks he is
a bad teacher. He says,

“Everything I know – and you must listen to this – is that I know
absolutely nothing.” He thinks literature and high culture have given
him nothing in life to value, that’s why he thinks so poorly of his job.

In the play Willy Russell tries to show the ways in which Frank and
Rita communicate. When Rita first walks into Frank’s room she is full
of questions, she has a lot to say. It seems as though she is full of
life. Frank describes Rita, “Do you know, I think you’re the first
breath of fresh air that’s been in this room for years.” Frank likes
it that Rita is different from his other students because the things
she says come to her naturally. Rita has not been tr...

... middle of paper ...

...ere she is eager to learn, as she says,
“……..if you want to change, y’ have to do it from the inside, don’t
y? know like I’m doin’.” This shows Rita wants to change. She also
goes to summer school in order to learn more; by going to summer
school it boosts her self-confidence. Then she moves in with someone
called Trish, who she admires and now because she has changed, has a
lot in common with her.

The things Rita has done, which are to have taken great lengths in
getting an education, show how serious she is about her desire to want
to change herself. She even separates from her husband for the reason
that she chose education instead of him, in an ultimatum her gave
her. She has tried so hard to succeed and now that she has, I think
that is being realistic. No one handed her an education on a plate,
she worked hard for it, I this that is realistic.

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