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Educating Rita

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Educating Rita The title of the play 'Educating Rita' refers to a woman called Rita who decides to enrol on a literature course at an open university. Rita is a working class, 26-year-old hairdresser. She has a husband called Denny who disapproves of Rita's decision of enrolling on a course at the Open University, as he is worried she is going to turn into a different, more educated woman. The play is set in the 1980's. Which means that because Rita is working class she has to break away from the restrictions, which are imposed, on her by her husband Denny and the community she lives in. In act 1 scene 1 the stage directions are about 1 and a half pages long and they give us a clue to the type of person Frank is. " A room on the first floor of a Victorian-built university" This is the opening line to the play and is the very first stage direction. This tells us that frank works in a university. "Another desk CENTER covered with various papers and books" This stage direction tells us that Frank is a lecturer of some sort. Just from reading the stage directions at the beginning of the play you get a general idea about Frank. ...read more.


The events leading up to this are Frank inviting Rita to a dinner party and when she arrives she backs out because she doesn't feel like she fits in then when she goes to her local pub she feels exactly the same. These events are what makes Rita believe she's a freak and a half-caste When Rita says on page 69 "he said I'd betrayed him" she is talking about her husband Denny. This shows us that she has permently changed because the old Rita would probably have given in to Denny's ultimatum and quit her course at the university. We also know she has permantley changed because Denny realise that its not just a temporary change and that he is never going to get the old Rita back, that's why he throws her out. At the start of act 2, Rita has been to summer school and it seems to have changed her lifestyle. For example when Frank offers Rita cigarette she says, "no, ta, I've packed it in." also Rita says "so I did it, I asked him the question". This is another example of how she has changed because before she went to summer school she wouldn't of had the confidence to stand up in front of thousands of people and ask a question. ...read more.


I feel that Willy Russell wanted to write a play about a working class woman because he wanted the readers to understand how hard it was for a working class woman to get an education and gain respect. Willy Russell included Denny in the play because he wants to show us that in order to achieve her dreams of becoming more educated, she would have to break away from the restrictions Denny imposed on her. Willy Russell thinks its important to show us that he didn't support Rita because it shows us that Rita didn't need him in order to succeed. She was capable of achieving it by her self all along it just took Rita a while to realise it. Willy Russell shows us that working class people think that everyone else is better than them and that they are not worthy of an education. They also think everyone else is looking down at them. He makes Rita explain this on page 68 when she says, " just because you pass a pub doorway an' hear the singin' you think we're all OK". I think Willy Russell takes education so seriously because he wants people to understand how important it is. I also think he is trying to let us know that education can do so much for us, its not just for getting us a good job but it lifts our self esteem and makes us believe in ourselves. ...read more.

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