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Educating Rita

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In his play 'Educating Rita' Russell uses dramatic techniques to convey the change in Rita. Discuss how he does this with reference to: characters, set/stage directions, the writer's choice of language and the social and historical context. 'Educating Rita' is a well know play written by Willy Russell. In this play Russell explores two characters called Frank and Rita. 'Educating Rita' is a two hander, meaning it only features these two characters throughout the play. However, others are alluded to. Both characters come from very contrasting backgrounds. Frank is from an educated background, he is a university lecturer. His status and education are shown through his use of language: Frank uses formal and descriptive lexis involving deeper meaning, which implicate his high stand in society. "You're going to have to suppress, perhaps even abandon your uniqueness." However his language loses formality throughout the play, as his relationship with Rita develops a closer bond. Rita is from a completely different background; she comes from a working class family in Liverpool. She has a course accent and her education is limited. She is shown as quite abrupt throughout the play and at times rude, however this changes. "I'm comin' aren't I? It's that stupid bleedin' handle on the door. You wanna get it fixed!" As the play progresses, so does Rita, she starts to share more similarities with Frank. 'Educating Rita' is set in the 1970's in Liverpool, during the financial crisis. ...read more.


Rita's response is: "Yeh. It sounds filthy, doesn't it?" Rita's response to everything appears to be comical, although slowly this changes, especially after she returns from summer school. Rita returning from summer school appears to be the pivoting point, where she shows drastic changes. Frank asks Rita, if she has studied Ferlinghetti, and surprisingly she has. Russell has included Ferlinghetti, because he also discussed the subject of poverty and inequality: Two scavengers in a truck, two beautiful people in a Mercedes. Rita tells Frank, that she was tempted to talk about pasta, however she didn't. If this was Rita beforehand she most definitely would have. She doesn't smoke any more. Also Frank asks Rita to read a poem, instead of Rita reading it, she recites it from memory. 'Recites poem from memory' This leaves Frank shocked. Because at the start of the play Rita had a negative attitude towards literature and poetry. This is one of the main changes in Rita her attitude towards education, even though Rita wanted to learn and change, she didn't have patience to do something 'boring'. Russell intended to do this to highlight the fact that, common women from Liverpool who has not been properly educated can change her attitude with the right guidance. Even though Rita is changing Frank appears to remain the same. However this changes when his partner Julia splits up with him. Frank is an alcoholic, which is noticed at the beginning of the play when he claims he would rather go to the pub if he had a choice. ...read more.


Rita has become an educated woman, who now knows where she belongs, and she also increased her social status. Frank has remained his drinking problems, however he loosened his character. He still remains his high class standing, however in some ways he has fallen, after falling from the stage drunk. In conclusion I found that Rita is continuously changing throughout the play, as this is the journey one needs to take to discover themselves without primary guidance. Rita is initially a common woman, who just has the urge to become educated no matter what someone says. She is one of the few women, who realize that she has the right to become educated and that it's alright if she doesn't want a baby. Russell wrote this play to make women aware of the prospect and also to encourage them that there is nothing to be afraid of. The character of Rita is perfect to convey this message, as Rita is a feisty woman who knows what she wants and she is brave enough to stand up for what she wants. With a character like Frank, it puts Rita's mind at peace, because he is relaxed and doesn't mind someone like Rita; in fact he finds it a challenge, which is exactly what he needed something different. Russell intended to do this, to show the public that there are people out there, who will help you. Also this period is when England suffered from the financial crisis, so it appeared to be ideal to come out educated, therefore he wrote this play 'Educating Rita'. By Shenin Anowar ...read more.

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