Introducting the Characters and Themes in Educating Rita Essay

Introducting the Characters and Themes in Educating Rita Essay

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Introducting the Characters and Themes in Educating Rita

GCSE Coursework: In what ways is Act 1 Scene 1 of “Educating Rita” a
good introduction to the play’s main characters and themes? Do you
think Willy Russell has made his opening dramatic and entertaining?

“I’m coming in aren’t I? It’s that stupid bleedin’ handle on the
door!” is not the way in which we would expect a new university
student to talk to a lecture she had never meet before, but as we
later find out, Rita, is not a stereotypical student and her lecture,
Frank, is not a stereotypical lecture. The play “Educating Rita” is
based on an out going character, who has decided her working class
lifestyle, does not fit who she is anymore. She believes she can
change her life by achieving a higher education, to “fit in” with
everyone else around her. Changing her name from Susan to Rita is her
first step, she had now begun the great leap from the 26year old
hairdresser, to a well spoken and well educated higher classed human
being.

This 1970’s play displays the struggle and frustration of a woman,
caught in the working class. Willy Russell uses wit, humour and his
knowledge of that time period to create and develop his two characters
as they travel through substantial changes in their lives. Willy
Russell uses two very different styles of writing for each of his
characters, the introduction to his play begins with a conversation
between lecture Frank and his wife. “Look if you’re trying to induce
some feeling of guilt in me over the prospect of a burnt dinner you
should have prepared something other than lamb and ratatouille…”
Russell was determined to show Frank’s striking upper class exterior,
with the usage of such formal and polite languag...


... middle of paper ...


...appy with life until Rita was able to show him his true
colours. Using the snappy, chatty atmosphere so early on in the play,
Willy Russell was able to keep his fairly long opening; dramatic,
entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Willy Russell’s choice to uses
such different characters to base his piece around, made one hundred
percent sure that his audiences anxiety levels would have been raised
as they became more and more intrigued, to find out if the characters
would clash or get on like a house on fire. But I believe it was Willy
Russell’s pure talent that enabled him to places to different
characters in the same scene and make it work. Using the two different
styles of writing and such different character personalities creating
an opening, which was not only dramatic and entertaining but will be
remembered in history as the starting point for woman.

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