Rita is one of the two main characters in Willy Russell's Educating
Rita. Rita's character changes in all aspects of her life: from her
attitude to her work and her personal life to her appearance and
knowledge- this is how:
Rita enters the play at first as a common, working class hairdresser.
You can gather all of this straight away, from the fact that in her
first sentence she addresses to Frank contains the word 'bleedin''. In
these opening moments of the play she does not seem to be able to
control her speech and tends to babble on about irrelevant issues -
such as Frank's 'pornographic' picture on his wall. She admits to her
'problem' and says 'I talk to much don't I?' She later explains that
she only talks to this excess and irrelevance when she feels
uncomfortable-so she is nervous around Frank.
In the first two scenes you can see that Rita is from a typical,
working class, Liverpudlian family as I have already said. Another way
in which you can spot this is from the vast amount of letters missing
from her lines. Take this line from Act 1 Scene 1 for example:
'He gets pissed an' stands in the street shoutin' an' challenging'
death to come out an' fight.'
The astronomical amount of apostrophes work to show that she is not
very well spoken, this is due to her poorer upbringing. All of this
changes in the play, however, as Rita begins to 'find meself' and by
the end of the play she is quoted saying that she feels like a 'new
Not only the pronunciations of her words differ from Frank's but also
the actual words that Rita uses would never be found leaving someone
... middle of paper ...
...nning) the only person who teaches
(and so influences) her. His drinking also seems to have gone down in
volume and he seems genuinely more happy, cheerful person. He has also
started writing poetry again, which Rita loves. All of this goes down
hill from the start of Act 2 Scene 1.Frank seems a very unhappy and
disgruntled person at the end of the play.
So, in conclusion, Act 2 is an entire contrast to Act 1 for both
characters, but focusing on Rita, she has gone from being an
uneducated, common -speaking, unhappy hairdresser to an educated,
well- spoken and more importantly happy Bistro waiter. More
significantly she is a woman with choices.
There is only one lapse in this metamorphosis when, after Trish tries
to commit suicide, Rita lights up a cigarette in Scene 6 of Act 2.
Which is understandable really.
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