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Educating Rita is a funny play dealing with serious issues - How far do you agree with this?

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Educating Rita is a funny play dealing with serious issues. How far do you agree with this? I agree with the statement that says that 'Educating Rita' by Willy Russell is a funny play dealing with serious issues because it includes both of them. It includes serious issues like relationships, suicide, education, self-esteem, class, culture and alcoholism. On the other hand, there are many funny scenes or things, fore example, Rita's dialect, jokes, alcoholism, character contrast and swearwords. In the first half of my essay, I am going to discuss some of the serious issues. To begin with, I am going to deal with the brake down of personal relationships, which appears many times throughout the play. Both Rita and Frank have unsatisfactory relationships with their partners, Denny and Julia. Rita has made the decision of learning at the Open University, which is a tough decision because she has to break away from the limits imposed on her by her husband and by the society in witch she lives and works. This initiative doesn't please Denny whose plan was to have a baby, but Rita doesn't want to have a kid until she has found herself. (Act 1 Scene 1- p.24) I'm twenty-six. I should have had a baby by now; everyone expects it. I'm sure me husband thinks I'm sterile. He was moanin' all the time, y' know, 'Come off the pill, let's have a baby'. I told him I'd come off it, just to shut him up. But I'm still on it. See, I don't wanna baby yet. See, I wanna discover meself first. Soon in the play Denny finds out about the pills and burns all her books. Denny couldn't understand why Rita wanted to change. Even though she tried to explain that she wished a better life, he didn't understand. He just wanted the girl he married to come back, sometimes he even gave Rita presents hoping they would make her come back. ...read more.


Frank lives in a middle class academic society. In which, even though Frank has grown tired of it himself, art and literature appear to be very important. On the other hand, Rita comes from a working-class society which knows and cares little about literature. However, Rita is decisive to obtain middle-class culture and she sees education as the resource to reach this intend, even though Frank tried to convince Rita that there is nothing wrong with her culture and that his culture wasn't better but different. He says so in a small argument they have by the end of scene 5 in Act 2 (p.98) FRANK: Found a culture have you, Rita? Found a better song to sing have you? No - you've found a different song, that's all-and on your lips it's shrill and hollow and tuneless. Oh, Rita, Rita... What he means with the word 'song' is culture. Close to the end of the play, Rita believes she is educated, like Frank, and she thinks he can't stand that and that he'd rather have her like before. The following quote is said by Rita to Frank (Act 2, Scene 5-p.98) I'm educated, I've got what you have an' y' don't like it because you'd rather see me as the peasant I once was; you're like the rest of them - you like to keep your natives thick, because that way they still look charming and delightful. I don't need you. I've got a room full of books. I know what clothes to wear, what wine to buy, what plays to see, what papers and books to read. I can do without you. Rita was wrong and, to repeat, she realized this, only after Trish tried to kill herself. Consequently, she was able to take charge of her own life and to make decisions for herself. In this second half of my essay I'll write about why 'Educating Rita' is a funny play. ...read more.


Rita saw the lawn through the window and asked Frank if students sat there in summer and this is what he answered ... (Act 1, Scene 2 - p.30) FRANK: Yes. First glimmer of sun and they're all out there. RITA: Readin' an' studyin'? FRANK: Reading and Studying? What do you think they are, human? Proper students don't read and study. RITA: Y' what? FRANK: A joke, a joke. Another source of humour that Willy Russell adds to his play are swearwords or bad language. Rita is the one that swears the most because of her informal speech. As she said, sometimes she swears in front of the people that are in the hairdresser's - were she worked - just to cause a fuss between them. In the fist scene, when Rita is talking about the ballet and the opera she says a few swearwords. Then she asks Frank if she minds her swearing. Frank doesn't mind, this is one of the reasons why Rita only wanted Frank as her tutor. This is the quote I just wrote about: (Act 1, Scene 1 - p.18) RITA: (...) So y' switch off an' say, that's fuckin' rubbish. FRANK: Do you? RITA: I do. But I don't want to. I wanna see. Y' don't mind me swearin', do y'? FRANK: Not at all. RITA: Do you swear? FRANK: Never stop. In conclusion, I agree with the statement that says 'Educating Rita' by Willy Russell is a funny play dealing with serious issues because we can find both of them within the play. There are many serious issues like the break down of relationships, suicide or alcoholism. We can also find humorous things like the different way both characters talk, jokes or character contrast. In some occasions Willy Russell puts both, funny and serious issues together. For example he makes the discussions between Frank and Rita, even of the most serious issues, engaging and amusing. Without the humorous parts the play would be boring and monotonous but if it didn't have any serious issues it wouldn't have an argument, therefore it would be a comedy. ...read more.

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