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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Essay length: 5077 words

About the Writer Willy Russell.

Extracts from this essay...


About the Writer Willy Russell William Russell was born in Whiston - just outside Liverpool, in 1947. At primary school he enjoyed reading, football and gardening, these were the only subjects he likes, but at secondary school he was consigned to the factory fodder D stream. It was in this surprising environment that he conceived the idea of being a writer. His only experience of factory work caused him to fail to obtain a printing apprenticeship, so his mother suggested he trained to be a women's hairdresser. He trained and worked as a women's hairdresser for five years, eventually running his own salon. After this he was seeking a career that would give him a greater opportunity and understanding of being a writer. He decided to become a student, having now passed O level English at night classes. No local education authority would give him a bursary, so he spent some time girder cleaning at Fords in order to fund his college O & A level studies. He only did this long enough so that he could afford the course; he spent no time extra doing this job as climbing up on dirty, oily girders was a very dangerous job which many of his colleagues were injured on. You can see in the play that Russell is commenting on society as Russell is almost like Rita, she lives near Liverpool with little education and works in a hairdresser, trying to get the opportunity to have choice by getting an education. During the play, Russell shows that the class system is a part of modern society and Rita wants to change classes, from working to middle, but has little education. She wants Equal opportunities in that the way that women are expected to have babies and stay at home all day, but in his play Rita breaks away from everyone else and gets an education and he shows in the play, how hard it really is to get an education and all the troubles that someone of a lower class has to go through to achieve there goals.


I think this contributed to his quiet, kept-back personality. I think Frank leads an insecure life, being unhappy and trapped in his current lifestyle. This is shown by Frank always drinking or going to the pub, on a phone call Frank makes up excuses to go to the pub, he says "I shall need to wash away the memory of some silly woman's attempts to get into the mind of Henry James, why did I take this on?" All Frank is doing is covering up for his unhappy life, he only works to pay for the drinks, and he also drinks while he is working. I think this could also mean he is scared of returning to the "old" Frank, the happy Frank that used to write poetry, maybe because he doesn't know how people around him would react with him. Frank, like Rita has very set viewpoints and isn't afraid to express them. For instance, when talking about the nude on the wall, he expresses the opinion "But the term beautiful covers the many feelings I have about the picture". I think Frank may be talking indirectly about Rita at this point, maybe hinting it to the audience as a form of a subliminal message. He could be talking about the 'many' feelings he has for Rita, his first real friend that has come into his life since his relationship troubles. Frank also gives compliments to Rita when compliments are due. "Because - I think you're marvellous". This is ironic considering he has only just met her. This is what I most admire about Frank. Too the audience it is almost possible to think that he likes Rita more than a friend but Rita is oblivious to the fact. Frank is too scared to show his true feelings. What I most like about this character is his ability to be open-minded and to change.


She speaks more like the Queens English. For example she pronounces the last letter of all her words, which previously due to her accent she did not do. As the play progresses her vocabulary expands, she starts to use words that she didn't even know or have heard of when Rita first turned up at Frank's office. Franks language contrasts with Rita's because he is educated and Rita is not. He is a university lecturer, thought he is not a stereotypical teacher. He drinks and smokes in his office, which is what a teacher is not meant to do as they are normally seen as a law abiding citizen. His strange sense of humour seems crude, or is full of depth. "Yes, that's it; you just pop off and put your head in the oven". This is an example of his crude humour. Rita's humour plays more on the obvious, for example the part where she is talking about the author quoting "only connect" and then she makes a joke about "a 3 pin plug". This is a play with a cast of two main characters. The advantage of this is the lighting and scenery can be simplified dramatically, is easy to set up and transform. Also the relationship between the two actors can become very close, leading to a better piece of visual work. The disadvantage of this is the storyline has to be very sharp and witty, on the edge to be able to keep the audience amused or affixed throughout the play. At the end of the play, the audience is left wondering what happens after Frank gets his hair cut. This is my favourite aspect of the play, the whole sense of mystery. Russell has used the combination of these two completely different characters to add humour to the play. This humour has built up the drama, as small details are revealed throughout the scene which makes the audience raise questions about what will happen at the end of the play. Adam Prettyjohns Tuesday, 01 May 2007 Adam Prettyjohns - Educating Rita Coursework - 01/05/2007 19:31

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