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Discuss the ways in which Russell portrays the changes and developments in the characters of Rita and Frank in Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 2 scene 1

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Introduction

English Coursework Drama (post 1914) Discuss the ways in which Russell portrays the changes and developments in the characters of Rita and Frank in Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 2 scene 1 of 'Educating Rita'. 'Educating Rita' is a play written by the British author Willy Russell. It is set in Liverpool around the 1980's. It explores the themes of education, poverty and working class life. The play is based on Rita's enthusiasm and determination to be educated. Rita undergoes her course at the Open University. Here she meets her tutor Frank and it is here their plutonic relationship blossoms. This is what occurs in Act 1 scene 1. In Act 2 scene 1 the relationship contrasts from that of the previous act. Although they have this friendly love, Frank becomes jealous of Rita. This is because when Rita returns from her summer school she is a new woman. She is more educated, has acquired new clothes and her accent has changed. The play is structured in two acts. It has eight scenes in the first act and seven scenes in the second act. The first scene of act one is set in Frank's office at the Open University. There is a large bay window at the left of his room and a small desk positioned in front of it. ...read more.

Middle

He earned his O level English at night school and worked in the Ford car factory to earn money so that he could go to college. He attended college in 1970 where he trained as a teacher. His work became more recognized and had many of his plays were performed or made for T.V. In 1980 Willy Russell won the west end best comedy award for his play 'Educating Rita'. Three years later 'Educating Rita' is released on T.V. and Russell is awarded an honorary MA from the Open University. The background of Rita is remarkably alike to that of Willy Russell. Rita also comes from Liverpool and is not so well educated until later on in life when she decides to return to university. Rita also faces the problem of peer pressure. She says on page 24 ''They'd think I was mental''. This shows us that she cares about what other people think of her. That if something is not acceptable by other people's standards then she is affected. I think Willy Russell is trying to portray his past through Rita in this play. He is trying to convey a message that even if you are a middle class or working class person you can still be successful. He is also stating that if you have had a bad education record in the past you can still go back and change it. ...read more.

Conclusion

She does give him a little bit of sympathy when she says, ''you can be a real misery sometimes can't y'?'' This shows us that Rita is considerate to other people's feelings and is not as self centred as Frank. Yes, she does give him sympathy but she is not going to brought down by him. We can see she is not scared to tell him what she thinks when she tells him she is disappointed that he is still drinking after the summer. This is different to Act 1 scene 1 when Rita would only agree with what Frank would say. Rita entered the play as a clumsy and uneducated woman and has come through to Act 2 scene 1 as an educated and independent woman. Willy Russell has portrayed the changes in Rita by giving her a new outlook on life and a new education. Frank was very intrigued when he first met Rita in Act one Scene one, but now he is jealous of the changes that have occurred during the summer break and brought her into his office in Act 2 Scene 1 as a fresh, self confident woman. Willy Russell has portrayed the changes in Frank in a very clever way. Although he never directly refers to the changes all you have to do is look back and compare the two acts and the changes are obvious. ?? ?? ?? ?? Oliver Miocic 10 NW ...read more.

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