• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Educating Rita general overview. Russell depicts the initial struggles that people who have not had a private school start to the education system. He uses both stagecraft and dialogue to present the changes that a person such as he and Rita can face.

Extracts from this document...


Educating Rita Coursework Liverpool, in the 1980's was hit by a financial low point; with high rates of unemployment and thousands fleeing the city for better job and life prospects elsewhere. This coupled with rising tuition fees for universities, made it harder for people in the city to try and better themselves, especially the younger generation. Open universities as opposed to the traditional redbrick's, offered a cheap course - that you could study in your free time, mostly from home but still get a degree at the end of studying. They did not discriminate class or grades, meaning that anyone can access the courses they have to offer, without taking the traditional route of an A-level. Assisting people to Strive towards a better career and future. The playwright, Willy Russell seems to be a part of this generation in Liverpool, wanting to get ahead but with financial times being hard, he felt the push. He was a hairdresser, and with one O-level he saw that with the financial crisis of the time, it would be hard to make ends meet, whilst he was still cutting hair. Whereas, if he took an Open University course, that did not care about his difficult start to life - he would be able to get his degree and hopefully better himself. Russell also saw, that in his traditional city, that women were not given the opportunities and equal rights, that most women in society have access to today. This is put across in his work, as feminism is something that is meaningful to him. His roots moulded his being, and therefore you see that he shows the concerns of the working classes that might not be seen or highlighted, in a political system populated with Oxbridge graduates, and British society that looks up to upper class figures such as the Royal Family. As this is deeply portrayed throughout the play, it is a semi-autobiographical play, concerning the difficulties that Willy faced, through the eyes of Rita, a liverpudlian woman, from a working class upbringing in the same profession as Russell, a hairdresser. ...read more.


She still finds it hard to put her past behind her, making herself think that she is inferior, or a "dishwasher" which is not a job that you would link to a person studying for a degree. There are other problems that relate back to wealth, such as the fact that people who are sitting on the grass, are able to afford the tuition fees and student living costs, which Rita would struggle with working either at the hairdressers or the Bistro. What Russell is trying to convey, is that even though the Open University, does not discriminate against class or grades, there are still problems for people on the courses - such as the people studying on the courses feel inferior to the traditional educational institutions that are deemed by university rankings, such as the times university guide; Showing that the window is a metaphorical barrier for the feelings that people who take Open University courses face, when put alongside people who are studying in a more traditional manner. Another way in which Russell shows Rita's, attitude towards the educational system on the day is by using "Oh - it's grass" in act II scene I. This is another example of a metaphorical physical barrier that Rita faces on her quest through her studies. However, we do not hear about the window like in the last scene. It is directly the grass grounds of the campus. This shows since feeling completely left outside, she now desperately wants to become one of them, by living the way they do and studying the same way that they do as well. Perhaps, she has come to terms with the financial difficulties, and the way in which she has come to do her degree. Furthermore, the use of the hyphen after the "Oh" show Rita's, shock that as a University student, the same as Franks, minus the social differences they contrast in. ...read more.


although she did very well in her course; she was correct when she wrote "do it on the radio" however an essay is not about who you are, it is about writing your essay to the examiners marking criteria .Ironically neither her or Frank at the time realise how much the knowledge that she already possesses can be just as important as her educational awareness. Rita changes and reforms somewhat back to her old self, she realises that some of her university friends, such as Tiger/ Tyson are not nice people because they are educated, it is about a persons personality, claiming that Tiger "He's a bit of a wanker really". She also seems to have a better relationship with her parents, as her mother has invited her over to celebrate Christmas. She has also started using more of her scouse dialect again. Showing us that she has started to think for herself and not only about becoming and educated, middle class, degree holder. However she has been taught well by Frank, she can now make confidently make literary decisions "...I heard one of them saying that as a novel he preferred 'Lady Chatterly' to 'Sons and Lovers.' I thought, I can keep on walking an' ignore it, or I can put him straight." Although education is a permit out of the masses into a better life, Rita has to change her life, end her marriage with Denny and end her career as a hairdresser to get out of nightmare. However this is the type of person that Frank would class as "pretentious". Rita cuts Franks hair and says "I'm gonna take ten years off you..." Although in the movie, we see the majority of act II scene VII taking place in the airport, the play in much more vague. We see that the play ends on a sweet note, and we do not know if Frank and Rita ever reunite, however the relationship has improved from when Frank compared her to Frankenstein's monster. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Willy Russell section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Willy Russell essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Compare how Willy Russell portrays the two mothers in "Blood Brothers". Account for the ...

    3 star(s)

    Will Russell uses a stable member of the public, a policewoman to show how differently people from the working class are treated compared to those of the middle class. This is made obvious by way the policewoman communicates, firstly with Mrs Johnston and then with the Lyon's family.

  2. willy russell

    She doesn't want to be a mum and have a baby yet she wants an education first. Rita doesn't want to be what other people want her to b and do she wants to be her own person and wants to do what she didn't do before.

  1. Educating Rita

    The most obvious thing she loses is her husband. From what Rita says, they seem to get on well enough, but Denny doesn't understand her wish to be educated. He has a traditional view of the role of women and expects Rita to settle down and have children.

  2. Focussing on the scene where Mrs Johnson agrees to give one of her unborn ...

    equal because she is a single mother in a working class family. Then Mrs Johnstone will say While staring into a random part of the theatre to show how shocked and overwhelmed she is, "With one more baby we could have managed but not with two...

  1. My Role ModelMy late friend Rita snapped her spine in an auto accident when ...

    Just imagine! These malcontents are going for their day in court, trying to Weasel as many bucks as they can from the public coffers because their back aches or their arches are broke or the steel plate in their skulls makes their vision fuzzy.

  2. The women in Willy Russell's plays

    Shirley resents that she has changed and wants to be the original Shirley that she used to be. When her friend offers the chance to go on holiday to Greece Shirley takes her chance, she leaves her humdrum life as Mrs Bradshaw, and becomes Shirley Valentine again, the confident and exciting person again.

  1. "And do we blame superstition for what has come to pass? Or is it ...

    This is because the narrator had just told the audience that she had given away her child, so she is trying to change the audience's thoughts about her, hoping that they will eventually understand why she did it. Firstly, we can see that she is quite naive, as she was

  2. How far do you consider Frank to be the comic focus of the play ...

    And not just with students, either. That would only amount to a slight misdemeanour. No, for dismissal it would have to be nothing less than buggering the Bursar?, and although this may be lewd and obscene it is extremely funny and appeals to the sardonic side of the audience.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work