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Choose two scenes from the film that illuminates the text of Educating Rita by Willy Russell.

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Introduction

Choose to scenes from the film that illuminates the text of Educating Rita by Willy Russell. When the play was written there was a still a cultural divide between the uneducated (as in no higher education) working class and the cultural and educated upper class but higher education was slowly being made available to the masses. This was partly due to Open University (OU) with provided a university education to those who normally would have not been able to go due to employment or the fact that they might feel they wouldn't fit in, like Rita, because of the cultural differences. Rita feels she needs an education to fill her life, as she knows that something in her life is not right and so she turns to the part of a life she doesn't have -education and knowledge of culture- to fill the gap. However as we find out this is not necessarily what she is missing, but in her search for an education she finds 'a new Rita', she even changes her name back to Susan. Susan is Rita's real name, however when she started OU she changed it to Rita after Rita Mae Brown, someone who she thinks writes literature, but in fact writes "pulp-fiction" stories, because at this time she thinks all books are literature- this shows the cultural difference. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, I feel that this enhances the way how Frank acts when he is not with Rita, but with the other students, whom he doesn't like, and doesn't try to like. In Sc.3 Act.2 Rita asks Frank if he will be sacked and Frank tells her "For dismissal it'd have to be nothing less than buggering the bursar", although this is funny at the time, the film illuminates this when, in Sc.7, Act.2. (or thereabouts as it is only mentioned in the book), Rita walks in on Frank packing away his books, when she asks why he says he was being sent away to Australia, Rita replies, "Did y'bugger the bursar?" "Metaphorically." He replies. In the film you see Frank very drunk standing outside the bursar's window, shouting at him - whiskey bottle in hand-until he falls asleep on the lawn of the university. This is very effective on the film, and helps you build up the idea of Frank when he is drunk. In addition to this what is very effective is how the film shows Frank in the lecture hall, while drunk, and although he admits to being drunk, he in fact says he couldn't teach them if he were sober, and he tells Rita "I might have fallen off, my dear, but I went down talking-never missed a syllable- what have they got to complain about?" ...read more.

Conclusion

These parts of the play show an under-pinning irony, where Rita wants what Frank has, Rita's experience is deeply rooted in her working class background, she thinks that being educated and cultured is when "[She's] got a room full of books. [She] knows what clothes to wear, what wine to buy, what plays to see, what papers and books to read." (Sc.5 Act.2). Frank however says to this "Is that all you wanted? Have you come all this way for so very, very little?" Rita says that although it is little to him, for her it opens up new opportunities, Frank refers back to when she is in the pub, wondering if there is a better song to sing and he says, "Found a better song to sing? No- you've found a different song- and on your lips it sounds shrill and hollow and tuneless." The Irony in this is that Frank has what Rita wants and Rita thinks she will be happy with this, but Frank - even with all his culture- is still unhappy. She realises that there is something she doesn't understand, that in a way she is not free. She wants to change, wants a better way of living, but doesn't really know how to achieve it- this is why she is doing an OU course. She rejects her working class origin and changes her name. Eva Blake English C/W Educating Rita Page 1 ...read more.

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