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Educating Rita

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The Rita we see at the start of the play is very different to the one we see at the end. It can be argued that Rita's education involves much more than just learning from books Educating Rita, written in 1985 by Willy Russell, details the changes to Rita before and after attending Open University in England. The extent of Rita's change is from a common Liverpudlain, to a well spoken educated young lady. It is a small intimate play, but it tells a story of complex issues throughout its course and with big ideas, ideas close to Willy Russell's heart. There is a lot of humour in the writing, but it is also a serious play, with deeper hidden meaning littered throughout the story, it is a really journey of self- discovery, a conflict in what it really means to be educated, a women, class and choice. The play was inspired by Willy's experiences at evening classes. Much of the comedy arises from Rita's fresh, unschooled reaction to the classics of English literature. She is never patronised by the author, who recognises from his own experience that education is a means of escape from one's own circumstances. Rita is a twenty-six years old working class hairdresser who has made the decision of taking a course with the open university, "been realising for ages that ...read more.


(Considering it is supposed to be an interview). This shows Rita hasn't had much experience of the upper class social standards before and also by just stating that the painting on Frank office wall is "very erotic". This shows that she doesn't think about what she says. However after Rita attends summer school, she is partly educated and feels and sees herself as "half-caste", and feels she does not know where she belongs anymore. Rita is uncomfortable with her family and friends and can't relate to them anymore, yet she feels not educated enough to fit in with the middle class. This seems to occur when Rita asks Denny to come to the theatre and he suggests the "beer keg" instead. Frank invites Rita to a dinner party at his house where she lack confidence and can't go in because Rita thinks they would all laugh at her, as if she was the "court jester". Again this shows of how she feels "half-caste" and is not confidant enough to fit in yet with the middle class. After leaving the party Rita meets with her mother who says "we can sing better songs than those". This makes Rita feel sure to carry on with the course. Then Denny gives Rita two options "either stop comin' hear an' come off the pill" and "there's a time for education, or it's not when you're twenty-six and married". ...read more.


After seeing prostituting he is not interested in women, but his statue is so realistic that he begins to fall in love with it. He offers the statue presents and prays to Venus and brings the statue to life. Again this seems similar as Frank has created what Rita in the end has become and now feels over shadowed by the new Rita, whereas Frank may have seen a very different outcome. Overall the play when viewed is light- hearted easy to connect with and understand with any age group. The play deals with a number of issues, there are three main issues that run through the play feminism, identity and education. These three main issues allow all who read the play have great understanding on what it feels like to be a women when not given many advantages in life, and how hard it can make life very difficult, and having to give up what you thought you will never achieve. It is also play that shows past society, and the views of two very different people and learn about life itself. As Willy Russell only uses Rita and Frank as the two main characters it allows greater and deeper understanding of each of them and sees what and how they experience though life. Also the pressure society can put on an individual, and the amount of determination needed to break free and that education is to be knowledgeable in life. ...read more.

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