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'Educating Rita' is a play that uses humour to make social observations. Discuss.

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Introduction

'Educating Rita' is a play that uses humour to make social observations. Discuss. 'Educating Rita' is a play written by the famous playwright and author Willy Russell. It is set in the 'North of England' but is recognisable as Liverpool using evidence from Rita's (one of the two main protagonists) accent. "Always meanin' to, is it? Y' should get on with it... you'll be shoutin' 'come in an' it'll go on forever because the poor sod..." (Act 1 scene 1). Rita also mentions 'Yate's wine lodge' of which is a franchise in Liverpool. Liverpool of this time (1985) was a centre of some of the severest economic depression and urban decay with the highest levels of unemployment throughout the developed world with an average 25% of the workforce out of work. This is contrasting to previous years when Liverpool was one of the wealthiest parts due to the good trade through it's large port and then during the 1960's being branded 'the coolest place' due to the great development of music through great bands such as 'The Beatles' and 'Gerry and the Pacemakers'. ...read more.

Middle

Rita has joined the Open University to gain an education in literature though has to break away from her old life due to restrictions enforced by being working class, her family and community. Although we are prompted to think about social issues the contrast between Frank and Rita brings more humour to the play. We are introduced to the scale of humour in the play at the very beginning as in the opening scene of Act1 Scene 1, we are introduced to Frank repeating the word 'Dickens' whilst looking along a bookshelf and so the audience thinks that he is looking for a book by the famous author Charles Dickens, although he then changes his mind and starts saying the word 'Eliot' therefore the audience believes he is looking for another book by the author T S Eliot and then from behind a book he pulls out a bottle of whiskey! ...read more.

Conclusion

Some might interpret it as a feeling of intimidation by Frank and that she may feel uncomfortable and so uses this form of behaviour as a type of barrier. This of which also symbolises the difference between Frank and Rita and how they are separated by a symbolic barrier of class and education. Another example of Frank and Rita being separated by a barrier is when Rita is unable to open the door to enter the room to meet Frank but is determined and try's and try's then she finally gets through. This is what also happened in the play therefore dramatic irony is used here. Through reading this play you can imagine just what the characters would be dressed like on stage. I expect Rita to be wearing a short PVC mini-skirt with a brightly coloured top, heeled shoes and permed hair as it is set in the 1980's as this is the fashion of this time. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - Jamie-Lee Broome ...read more.

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