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Educating Rita

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Educating Rita is written by Willy Russell, Rita is one of the main characters along with Frank. As an audience, we see Rita change throughout the play. Rita is doing an Open University degree on literature. She is doing this course as she likes reading, but she has never read any serious literature, only pulp fiction (such as Ruby Fruit Jungle). She changes her name from Susan to Rita, because Rita Mae Brown was the author of Ruby Fruit Jungle. Rita wants to learn, but she just does not know how to due to her lack of formal education. Rita left school with no qualifications and became a hairdresser. Her husband, Denny does not want her to do the course. Rita says. "He hates me comin' here". That is what Denny's frightened of, he thinks Rita and him will grow apart if Rita gets the education she has longed for. However, after seeing Frank, her tutor, Rita thinks it makes her stronger as a person. ...read more.


In my opinion I think Rita has stopped smoking to try and fit in with the new friends she has met at Summer School, Rita had never believed she could be friends with other students, she thought they were different from her and Rita always believed they were better then she was. The dramatic change to Rita's ability to answer Frank back as an equal is shown in Act 2 Sc 1, by the use of an analogy. When Rita is comparing a room to a plant because they both need air. Frank gets sarcastic, goes a bit too far, and starts saying, "Let's get a watering-can and water the carpet; bring in two tons of soil and a bag of fertilizer. Before Rita used to agree with Frank and never had the ability to interact with Frank. Rita's state of mind, she is very happy and excited and wants to tell frank all about Summer School. Rita tells Frank about her new friends she met at summer school, how much fun she had all the things she did such as: Went all round London, got drunk and bought all sorts of second-hand gear in markets. ...read more.


This quote shows Rita really wants to learn, as before Summer School she only wanted to ask Frank about his life, and talk to him about her life. Frank chooses to do Blake; he does not know Rita did this at Summer School, and Rita recites from memory the poem. Frank says, "You weren't supposed to do Blake at Summer School, were you? Rita replies saying, "Nah, we had this lecturer though, he was a real Blake freak. He asks then, "You covered all the songs of Innocence and Experience? Rita acts all cleave and says, "Of course; you don't do Blake without doing innocence and experience, do y"? Frank at this point is very upset. Because he wanted to teach Rita, Blake and he did not get the chance to do so, he had the whole term sorted; he feels Rita does not appreciate the work he put in to try to teach Rita Blake. He was really looking forward to teaching Rita something new, and did not know she was going to study Blake at Summer School. ...read more.

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