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Discuss how Rita's character changes throughout the play educating Rita

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Introduction

Willy Russell was born in Liverpool in 1947. Russell comes from a working class background and grew up with his mother, grandmother and aunts around him, he said that this has had a big impact on his writing career, where he reflects opinions on class and women as in 'Educating Rita'. When he left school with one 'O level at the age of 15, he had no ideal aspirations or plans for his future. Before he started his career as an author; he had a few other occupations including hairdressing, which he incorporated into Educating Rita as character Rita's job. After doing a many other jobs on radio, some sketches and song writing he returned to Toxteth College as a teacher when he was twenty; this is where and when he became interested in writing and drama and started writing many inspirational playwrights including Educating Rita. This is why Educating Rita is sometimes deciphered as an autobiographical piece by Russel as it illustrates so many similarities between his own life and that of Rita's. In act one Russell exposes Rita's character filtering through her background of her feeling trapped and lost in herself, in her working class life as a young liverpudlian woman wanting to "find herself". ...read more.

Middle

"Rita:...Denny found out I was on the pill again; it was my fault, I left me prescription out. He burnt all me books." - Pg 51 In fact Rita just tells Frank that she has been to a professional theatre, her enthusiasm shows how she can see she has changed to appreciate the works of authors and playwrights, from how she explained herself previously as been "ignorant" towards this kind of thing. Also in this scene Rita starts to pick up and understand some of Frank's sarcastic comments whereas earlier on in the play they flew straight over her head. "Frank: (deliberately): Ah. Romeo and Juliet. Rita: (moving towards Frank) Tch. Frank! Be serious." - Pg 60 This shows a change because before Frank was telling Rita to be serious and to come into the room and get on with work whereas now Rita is telling Frank to be serious. Her understanding of humor indicates that she is becoming more intelligent and open-minded. In this scene Rita takes over more and actually seems interested and understands what she is telling Frank. "Its fun, tragedy, isn't it? ...read more.

Conclusion

I'm terribly sorry. It was unavoidable. Frank: (looking up) Was it really? What's wrong with your voice? Rita: Nothing, is wrong with it, Frank. I have merely decided to talk properly. As Trish says, there's not a lot of point in discussing beautiful literature with an ugly voice." - Pg 83 This shows how much Rita admires Trisha, or wishes to be a part of the higher class like Trisha, she went to such great lengths to be as much like her as possible by even changing her accent, almost a trademark to her character. It is clear from the significant evidence that Rita's character has changed dramatically throughout the play. From the start of the play when she was trapped in her narrow one-way life with Denny to the end of the play where she has been set free in life. As she takes her final steps towards self-discovery she realizes she has a new found independence; she is able to hold intelligent conversations confidently, she has become more open-minded, she now knows she no longer has to follow a set out life, she doesn't have to reach expectations of others as long as she does what she wants. By the end of the play she has grown the ability to conquer insecurity and self-doubt and her low self-esteem has been buried by courage. ...read more.

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