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Educating Rita

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Educating Rita Educating Rita is a short play that revolves around a young middle class woman (Rita) who is driven by a hunger to better herself and climb the harsh ladder of society through education and knowledge. Set in Liverpool 1985, during a time of high unemployment rates, economic depression and severe class divisions, the play deals with the idea of change in both negative and positive ways, but also boldly confronts the delicate issues of social class and education. There are two major themes in the play, both of which equally as important, the first of the two is the domineering clash of culture that is present so significantly throughout a major part of the play. Although there are several references to other characters in the play, Frank (Rita's tutor) and Rita herself are the only characters the audience encounters directly, and through them, their attitudes and language doe's the theme of clashing cultures emerge. The second is personal relationships, which is invoked by frank and Rita's influence on each other and the way in which they affect each other's development throughout the play. Willy Russell (author of educating Rita), was born in Liverpool forty years before the setting of the play, belonging to a better-off working class family, Russell failed and dropped out of school becoming a ladies hair dresser for six years, he then later quit his job and went back to education to take up his dream of becoming a writer. ...read more.


The early Rita is na�ve, yet intelligent in her own way, she understands that she does not fit in with neither working class nor middle class (she is not comfortable with working class, as her outlook is middle class but is not ready to be accepted into the middle class) this is backed up when Rita refers to her self as "half-cast", in doing so she is almost acknowledging her self imposed outcast from both classes. At this point Rita believes that the middle class has no problems, or worries, she assumes that all of the middle class eat 'whole meal bread, flora' and watch the BBC, (these are only some of the many sweeping generalizations she makes), and shows that she is quick to judge and stereotype people from what she's heard instead of using her own views once she's formed them. Rita also assumes that knowledge is the key that will set her "free", therefore she is fuelled by a undeniable thirst for knowledge. Apart from this the early Rita can be seen to be inconsiderate or blunt e.g. not only doe's she ask Frank if she can smoke but gets her cigarettes out before he can answer, it is also moderately easy to notice that the early Rita has trouble expressing herself with words, she involuntarily express her emotions on her face, or with gestures, unable to mask them in ...read more.


Rita experiences a lot in the coarse of the play she becomes wiser and more mature towards the end of the play, and by the last scene Rita's transformation into an intellectual middle class citizen is complete and it is clearly evident that she is not the same loud, socially na�ve liverpudlian that first came bursting in to the play (although the change is gradual). Although Rita has by now changed significantly we can still see traces of her flamboyant personality even into the dying lines of the play "Tch come on Frank did y' bugger the bursar", as we can see Rita's livelihood and eccentric personality live on despite her dramatic change. In a sense Rita represents positive change in the play and eventually reaches her goal, which is altered during the coarse of her journey. Her tutor (Frank) plays a major role in Rita's development, he represents negative change in the play, but also in a bias manner (from the author) is an ambassador to a drunk and socially courpt middle class. The first two scenes of act one are substantially important as they help us understand Rita's character at the begging of the play, in these two scenes the audience is presented with several of the plays main themes and morals, they also by an idea evoked by Rita's attitude of how the play would end. ...read more.

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