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Educating Rita - A Play By Willy Russell

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Introduction

Educating Rita - A Play By Willy Russell " How do the characters of Frank and Rita change throughout the play and what is Russell's purpose of using the technique?" Educating Rita is a play written by Willy Russell who was born in Liverpool, Whiston. "I really don't want to write plays which are resigned, menopausal, despairing and whining. I don't want to use any medium as a platform for displaying the smallness and hopelessness of man." Willy Russell wrote Educating Rita as a comedy, he wanted to write a funny play to be watched and not to be studied. Coming from a working class family and society, he witnessed a deep injustice in the way lower classes were treated. Even though people who were working class had wonderful qualities, they were often regarded as worthless. In Educating Rita there are two classes, the lower class that is represented by Rita and the upper class represented by Frank. Russell reveals that although both characters come from different classes, they can both learn from each other. In this play there are only two characters. Although many other people are important to the play, Rita and Frank are the central characters. ...read more.

Middle

In this play we are exposed to two different types of language or two different ways of talking Upper class "well spoken" English and lower class English. When the professor talks he is easily understood but when Rita sometimes speaks it is hard to understand what she is saying "bleedin', poor sod, get pissed, crap" she has a pronunciation, and accent of the north of England we are not used to. For example the word "my" is usually pronounced "me" and the words mother and so on are said as they are written. In scene five Rita's husband Danny has burned all of her books because he found out that she was on the pill, Frank wants to talk about the problem but she'd rather talk about Chekhov. Rita is able to understand herself and her circumstances clearly and almost gets things right. After she had an argument with Danny, she finds that it is her that has to change, and she wants to go on with her education. Frank said, "Sod the books" which shows that he is changing too. He doesn't use this sort of language, which Rita normally uses, but acquires it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rita's education turns her into a different person, but is this new person doesn't turn out to be a complete positive result. Rita's education changes her into a different woman- stronger, more resilient and also moves her out of the lower, working class into a world which is more challenging but presumably not so fair as the one she leaves behind. She does pay a price, by leaving Danny and not having a baby yet, she gets what she want's, an education. In the play, education is portrayed as a game when they are in the university - not going there for the need of an education but to acquire the lifestyle that an 'educated' person would so. Frank doesn't know this game, but Rita does and at the end of the play she realises what it has done to her. At the beginning of the play she is an 'uneducated' woman, who knows little about academic things but has a lot of experience about life. She doesn't value the knowledge which she already has much. She throws away her old life and what she gets back - Frank thinks- is much less valuable. But to Rita, education is a way out of mediocrity into a superior lifestyle. The tragedy is that she pays for it by becoming a different person. Rebekah Simpson 11DST English 1 ...read more.

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