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Educating Rita

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Educating Rita Examine Frank's growing sense of unease as Rita becomes more educated. Educating Rita is a play written by Willy Russell. The play is set in Liverpool during the 1980's. It is written to highlight the difference in class, between a middle class lecturer and a working class student. During the 80's period women were to have less challenging and rewarding jobs. Contrary to this men were expected to gain an education and become the income earner. Women no longer sought this role and wanted to lead the same life as men. This was a major issue in the 1980's. The main theme of this play is personal relationships. The audience watching the play see how Frank and Rita interact with each other and how they influence each other. Bored with teaching undergraduates English Literature, Frank miserably reflects through a whisky glass on his failed marriage and his attempt at becoming a poet. His world is turned upside down by the arrival of Rita. At the start of the play Rita needs Frank to teach her as she looks up to him and idolises him, however as time progresses and Rita develops we realise that this relationship changes. ...read more.


There maybe only one pair in the play, but it is a very interesting one, because it is very symbolic of Frank's emotions and personality. For example he hides whisky in his bookshelf this shows one of the main factors in the story is about Frank's obsession with drinking. However he does hide the fact that he loves to drink but it is easily spotted by other students. He has a naked religious picture in his office. Rita's reaction to the picture was different compared to Frank. Rita describes it as pornography and Frank just frankly replies by saying that he hasn't seen it for so many years. From now on Frank starts to see everything through Rita's eyes. Previously he had lost interest in things. Frank's window is jammed shut this shows that he doesn't open up himself. The lack of fresh air in his room represents the lack of freedom he lets into his life. This also applies to the fact that his door is sealed shut which shows that no one goes into his office and he does not open it to let fresh air in In the second scene of the play Frank's attitude and dialogue seems to be more confident and self - assured, but only when he is on the topic of education and Literature. ...read more.


Although both Frank and Rita warn each other they do not seem to realise what they are doing to themselves. She dropped her regional accent and has become more confident in revealing her views on particular topics. The play appears to underline different messages about education. It is education which seems to almost destroy the true, good and unique character of Rita. It also leads to Frank almost regretting his own education. Rita idolised the concept of education but I think that the message Willy Russell was trying to portray through 'Educating Rita' is that education is not what life is all about. Education simply gives people power over their own lives. It did offer Rita some of the solutions which she had craved for when wanting to find a way out of what she believed to be an empty life. It did give her the freedom and choice which she had longed for even though it was in a different way to what she had expected. As Rita discovered towards the end of the lay education does not necessarily bring somebody into a new, better character and way of life, it just gives the person the freedom to choose which path to follow in the future. Anish Sethi 1 ...read more.

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