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Educating Rita essay

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Educating Rita essay: - Coursework Rita is a 26 year old married woman from Liverpool who is stuck in an uneducated working class job as a hairdresser. The play is set in the 1980's. Rita has decided to get an education; not the sort of job that would get her a better job or more pay, but an education that would open up for her a whole new world ~ a liberal education. Rita wants to be a different person and live an altogether different sort of life than she has been living so far. She enrols in the Open University, a government program that allows non-traditional students to get the kind of higher education that used to be reserved more or less for the offspring off the upper class, and mainly for male students at that. "Educating Rita" describes the trials and transformations that the young hairdresser has to go through to develop from a person with hardly any formal schooling into a student who passes her university exams with distinction. Rita is in a situation where she feels trapped. She wants to get a better education to improve her standard or living however her husband, Denny, doesn't agree on what Rita is trying to do. ...read more.


After struggling for a while she finally enters the room. Rita bursts into the room with an energy and freshness about her. It's as if she's bursting into his life. She's brightened up his life like rays of sunshine into his dark gloomy office. Frank is quite surprised at the commotion she's bringing in. Russell deliberately makes the distinction between their class and culture more noticeable by the way they speak. For example when Rita comes in she says: "I'm comin' in aren't I?! It's the stupid bleedin' handle on the door. You wanna get it fixed!" She's not treating him with respect. In her working class world there is no hierarchy and everybody is treated equally. Frank is quite surprised by her honesty and strangeness. Another example of their difference in language is where Frank says: "and you are?" "what am I?" "pardon?" "What?" It shows you the well mannered Frank and the common Rita. Later on in the play we see that the same situation happening to Rita as she tries to open the door handle. However, she brings with her an oil can and starts to oil the handle of the door as to make entering easier. ...read more.


Something which he does a lot. Throughout the play Frank is going down on the scale of class by acting more and more like the working class, and by acting more and more irresponsibly. Rita, on the other hand, is going up on this scale, and she's acting more and more like the middle class. Eventually by the end of the play she'll overtake Frank on this scale. Rita extensively addresses one of the most fundamental issues of the play. The clash of class and culture. Rita's culture of the hardworking, cheery, gossipy people who work long hours for little pay is clashing with Frank's class of educated, highbrow people working average hours for good pay. Throughout the play we can see the clash in what they wear, how they talk, what they eat, what kind of things they read, what they work as and so much more. When Frank mentions "Yeats", Rita assumes that he means "Yates" the wine lodge. This tells us that Rita's level of acquaintance with literature is quite poor to start with as when he mentions literature she thinks of social reasons. When Frank ells Rita about how Yeats" rhymed the word swan with stone she tells him it doesn't rhyme. This is called assonance. Rita rationalises assonance as "gettin' the rhyme wrong". This is a perfect example of her freshness of thought that entrances Frank so much. ...read more.

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