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Educating Rita

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Introduction

EDUCATING RITA The play is in a naturalistic setting. The whole play takes place inside one room, namely Frank's office; a book-lined study in a university in northern England. And by adhering to the unity of place Willy Russell is not just able to concentrate on the drama, but also the humour of the play. The play is set in year it was written, 1985. The play itself is structured into two Acts. The first act deals with Rita beginning her search and her education, trying desperately to fit into Frank's world. Frank is the teacher, the one with all the knowledge. He's always saying the right words. Rita looks up to Frank. Whereas on the other hand you have his opposite, Rita, who is uneducated, loud, out spoken and common. Rita breezes into Frank's life like a breath of fresh air. The story of the play is that of the developing and changing relationship between the two of them both as teacher and student and also on a more personal level. During the play the character of Rita is completely transformed. And this needs to be shown through the way the actors play their characters and the way they interact on the stage. ...read more.

Middle

She even recites to him The Sick Rose off by heart. From this point on it is Frank that is the one having problems as Rita is moving from strength to strength. The final few scenes of the play reflect the increasing sense of place. The scenes become shorter than they were prior to this and there is an undisputable feeling that time has elapsed in the build up towards Rita's examination. Many themes run through this play. One that features highly throughout is that of incompleteness, as in terms of their characters both Frank and Rita show a strong sense of incompleteness. Rita in particular is driven by the need to learn and be educated, after having come to realise that life has nothing else to offer her except for her mundane existence working in a hairdressers. She is twenty-six years old and she is feeling "out of step"; she mentions to frank how she feels she would need to discover herself before considering having a baby with Denny. This costs Rita her marriage, her job and her friends. Even though Frank suggests that her education has not lead her to find "a better song to sing", merely "a different song". ...read more.

Conclusion

For Rita this education is a way of releasing herself from the unfulfilling lifestyle she is living and that her family and friends are leading; and to find herself and a better way of life. In the last scene, after she has passed her examination, she begins to recognise the reality. That it could have all been totally worthless in the end and therefore may not greatly change her life in any way at all, but one thing she has gained is the power of choice. She is able to make more decisions in her own life and become who she wants to be. These are not trivial choices like Denny choosing between eight different types of lager down the pub, but real major choices that could affect the whole direction that her life takes. She has a number of opportunities open to her. She can either, go and make a fresh start in Australia with Frank, carry on working in the bistro, return to her old job at the hairdressers or she could choose something totally different. Like having a baby for example, now that she has 'found herself'. But the point is it's her decision, she has become a woman who is able to make wise and informed choices about the direction that her life will take from this point on. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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