• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Educating Rita

Extracts from this document...


The play centres around just two characters, Frank and Rita. Willy Russell uses his characters to tell his audience about social class, education and the differences between people. Consider how the play does this. What is Willy Russell's message or motive for writing this play? Educating Rita is a satirical and humorous analysis of the social class differences in our society. Insightfully and with great drama, Willy Russell depicts the chasms which exist in our highly socially stratified society. The play may seem at first sight to have limitations. There are only two characters. The setting remains largely static. Yet, despite or possibly because of these limitations, Russell gives the audience an insight into social class differences in an unusual and enjoyable manner. At the beginning of the play we are introduced to Rita who is part of the working class, she has little education and a poor job as a hairdresser. Rita feels trapped with the situation she is landed with and believes that there are better possibilities in life. She doesn't want to fit into the stereotyped image of a woman with her background, but feels that in some ways it is expected of her. "I've been realisin' for ages that I was, y' know, slightly out of step. I'm twenty-six. I should have had a baby by now; everyone expects it......See, I don't wanna baby yet. See I wanna discover meself first." ...read more.


Rita feels she is becoming educated by talking differently but she doesn't realise that she is changing who she is. This play is set exclusively in Frank's study, which he sees just as a room, he takes all the qualities it has for granted. We can determine that it is his refuge from his problems, the people around him and the outside world in general, his reluctance to fix the door shows this, "It's that stupid bleedin' handle on the door. You wanna get it fixed!" "Erm - yes, I suppose I always mean to..." (Rita/Frank Act 1: Scene 1) Rita, however, is thoroughly marvelled by this room and its contents, this difference in attitudes towards the room is clearly shown when Rita points out the painting and comments that it is very erotic. Frank's reply shows how accustomed he has become to his surroundings that he rarely notices them any more. "Actually I don't think I've looked at it for about ten years, but yes, I suppose it is." (Frank Act 1: Scene 1) Rita does at another point in the play describe why she likes the room so much, she believes that it's classy, cluttered look perfectly reflects Frank's personality. The study is full of hope for Rita and represents her aspirations. Further into the play, the room also becomes a safe-haven for Rita as it is where she can escape from the peer pressure which she experiences from her husband and those around her, those who knew her before she decided to embark upon this self-improvement. ...read more.


But when at the end of the play, Trish attempts to commit suicide Rita finally realises that everyone has problems whatever their social standing, gender or education. You can't ensure that you're going to be happy even if you do try to improve yourself. Willy Russell intended this play to inform people about how different social classes are treated and to show that education is not necessarily a route to happiness. This play, and Rita's life reflects Russell's life completely. It seems that it was written from personal experience. Willy Russell also came from a working class background and had a poor education which he later revisited after many dead-end jobs. This play does bear some resemblance to Pygmalian by George Bernard Shaw but all of the milestones catalogued in Rita's life are those encountered by Russell. He has made the play more interesting by casting the character of himself as a female, in an age when very few women went to university, and of those there was only a minority that came from working class backgrounds. Ultimately, I believe that Willy Russell wrote this play to show his audiences that happiness does not come from knowledge or social status; and to break away from the mould may work for some people but it does not insure that you will be happy and contented in life. People from all walks of life, genders, standards of education and wealth although it hasn't been directly mentioned, have equal opportunity and chance of being happy in whatever they wish to do. Rachel Henderson Ass. 5 Amu 11.09.02 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Educating Rita section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Educating Rita essays

  1. relationship between frank and rita in educating rita

    As the play continues Frank and Rita start to do more social things together. For example in Act 1 Scene 6 Rita invites Frank to accompany her to an art gallery 'Ey Frank listen, I was thinking of going to the art gallery tomorrow. D' y' wanna come with me?'

  2. How does Russell reveal to the audience the change in Rita's character? 'Educating Rita' ...

    She thinks she is a new person, which is really the confident old Rita, with education and sophistication added (which she realises at the end).

  1. What does Educating Rita gain and what does it lose from being a two-handed ...

    The set is also Frank's symbolic prison as he uses the study room as a way out from his life, this is shown in Act One, scene one when he takes a whisky bottle from the book shelves. This shows that for both Frank and Rita the set is very significant to them, for two different reasons.

  2. Educating Rita: How does Willy Russell present the development of Frank and of Rita ...

    A perfect example of him not reforming is when Rita asks him, "Are you still on this stuff?", after which Frank admits to continue drinking: "...I need the drink to help me step delicately through it." What surprised me as I read through the Scene 5 was Frank's attitude towards Julia.

  1. In Educating Rita Willy Russell writes that education dives you a choice what changes ...

    problems and nobody is perfect, no matter where they are placed on the social scale. By the end of the play she has escaped from her previous life and gained the freedom to choose her own path in life that she longed for so long.

  2. Educating Rita Coursework

    and swearing; "heap of shit"; "from now on I shall insist upon being known as Mary Mary Shelley." Frank then speaks in a monologue as he has a lot to say to Rita, finally he tells her because Rita's proof of knowledge is frustrating for Frank.

  1. Educating Rita

    Sometimes in parts of the play Frank and Rita so completely miss each other's points they could be speaking different languages. So what I have gathered so far is that they are both two very different people. Frank is quite surprised with Rita and what she is like.

  2. Educating Rita

    wasting time just sitting around in the pub and having a few drinks, "There must be better songs to sing than this..." Unless Rita changes her lifestyle, the audience realise she will end up like her mother, wasting opportunities, such as education.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work