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‘Educating Rita’ By Willy Russell - The way in which Russell maintains the audiences interest at the same time as presenting important ideas about education.

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Introduction

'Educating Rita' By Willy Russell The way in which Russell maintains the audiences interest at the same time as presenting important ideas about education. The play 'Educating Rita' is a story about a young woman's determination to change her life. She is a dissatisfied hairdresser who wants an education to get beyond the culture she was born into. She commits herself to an Open University course where she meets Frank. Her tutor. He is not the best tutor to meet her needs but Rita is shrewd enough to recognise that he belongs to a different culture and offers her access to an intellectual and social confidence. Rita and Frank 'hit it off' from the outset - a fatal attraction of opposites, but, they have more in common than is first realised. Frank, like Rita is also dissatisfied and sees his existence as hollow and sham, made more bearable by a constant flow of scotch. Rita helps Frank escape from a life, which he is not too fond of, with her funny, charming and delightful character, just, as Frank lets her escape from hers. Educating Rita was written in the early 1980's. ...read more.

Middle

To compensate for this, her views are often imaginative and original. This is what Frank admires about her. Rita finds her working life deeply unsatisfying and, as she looks around, she notes a deep sense of meaninglessness in the lives of all those around her. She exaggerates somewhat but nevertheless makes a forceful point about her community: 'By us, there is no meanin' to life... I just see everyone pissed or on the Valium, trying to get from one day to the next.' Part of Rita's desire is to break free from this life and live on which is how she wants it. As a woman of this community, Rita's destiny is already mapped out for her. By the age of 26, it is expected, by her husband and the local community, that Rita will have children. In this community that Rita has been brought up in, it is hard to rebel. Rita can't tell her husband that she doesn't want children and so feels forced to hide her contraceptive pills. In Rita's community she is stereotyped and this started from when she was in school when she followed the ways of the other children: 'See, if I'd started takin' school seriously I would have had to become different from me mates, an that's not allowed.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite all their differences, with different culture backgrounds etc. they still seem like a perfect match. From the very first scene there is flirtation between the two, and this carries on through each and every scene. Not only is their flirtation, there is also a sense that they care for each other deeply yet are not ready to admit it to one another. Russell uses this match of opposites to pull through the play and right up to the last scene we are left wondering what will happen with them both. Will Rita go to Australia with Frank and start a sexual relationship with him? It is what we all want, but Russell does not want us to know. He leaves it up to us to decide what will happen. In the play there are only two characters and only one set used. This pulls our attention directly on the relationship between Frank and Rita and the issues raised by them. There are other characters mentioned, such as Rita's husband Denny, but these characters never comes directly into the novel. This excellent stagecraft is used by Russell to give a dramatic effect by focusing our minds purely on the actions of Frank and Rita, and it does. ?? ?? ?? ?? Lucy Turner 10a English Coursework ...read more.

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