• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Educating Rita" is a semi-autobiographical play about a working class woman who aims to change her life through education. How do you think Willy Russell wishes his audience to be affected by the play?

Extracts from this document...


GCSE English Literature Patrick Brosnan "Educating Rita" is a semi-autobiographical play about a working class woman who aims to change her life through education. How do you think Willy Russell wishes his audience to be affected by the play? The play follows the attempts of Rita, a hairdresser to escape from her mundane existence and enter an academic, middle class one. Willy Russell's early life had much in common with Rita's. A working class family, from Liverpool, a failed secondary school career, a lady's hairdresser and then an interest in English literature. Russell wanted to contrast the working class values of Rita with the middle class academic ones. He used a number of ideas to make his audience aware of 'class values'. The first thing that strikes the audience about Rita is her coarse and vulgar language. '...look at those tits!' This is a typical example of Rita's language in the first scene. ...read more.


Willy Russell again uses humour, this time more wit to show Rita's pitiful, working class background. From this the audience senses that there is a serious issue underlying all this cheerful banter. Willy Russell makes comparisons throughout the play between the working class and the middle class. In scene three Frank tells Rita the difference between 'pulp fiction' and 'literature'. The fact that Rita has read a great deal of 'pulp fiction' is telling the audience that although she has read, her lack of educational opportunities and resources have restricted her from reading the books Frank classes as 'literature'. I think this could make the audience aware of the inequalities in the class system. Rita's view of working class culture is very negative '...well we've got no culture... I just see everyone pissed, or on the Valium, tryin' to get from one day to the next.' Rita is telling Frank that the working class know deep down that they are not happy with their life. ...read more.


Rita's mother obviously thinks the same about their culture as Rita does. She also thinks they could do better. The audience is affected in many ways by Willy Russell's play. I think that Willy Russell is trying to make the audience understand that the class system is unfair. He wants the audience to understand what the working class people have to go through and as he came from a working class background, he obviously has first hand experience of this. The way Willy Russell uses humour, pity, sadness and empathy is very thought provoking for the audience. He uses humour more than anything else. This makes some of the ideas easier to take in for some of the audience. Also the Characters are very easy to relate to. I think the audience will be effected greatly after seeing the play. It is very simple to have a prejudiced view o the different classes and for a great number of the audience they will lose this view. Willy Russell wanted his audience to understand and learn about class values and I believe he got his point across very well. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Educating Rita section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Educating Rita essays

  1. In this essay I am going to show my ideas for staging a production ...

    The setting of the play stays the same all the way through with the same props in use. The play is shot in an office in a university, so the main props would be a desk, a couple of chairs, a window, a door that needs an oiling and a bookcase.

  2. In 'Educating Rita' Russell writes, "education gives you a choice" - How does Russell ...

    Russell uses this to reveal to the audience the fact that she is struggling to get into the middle class and that she is frustrated with her life. "I'm coming in, aren't I? It's that stupid bleedin' handle on the door.

  1. Discuss the ways in which Russell's vision for 'Educating Rita' is a humorous one. ...

    The humour created here gives the audience an impression of the gap at the start of the play between academic expectations and the responses given by Rita.

  2. Rita leaves her home and family behind and moves to a different place. How ...

    The reason Rita's marriage collapses because they both want different things. Rita wants to educate her self and her husband wants to have children and wants Rita to stay the way she is, but Rita has her own dream and she wants to live a civilised life.

  1. Educating Rita by Willy Russell

    all she has just moved in with a new flat mate Trish which shows that she has spilt up with Denny because he gave her an ultimatum to chose between having a baby or getting an education and she made a sacrifice of choosing to discover herself and felt she wasn't ready for a baby.

  2. Do you think Ritas education is for the better? How does this reflect Russells ...

    For the audience, it would be a surprise to see how far Rita has come as the general perception of the working class is unintelligent and uneducable. Willy Russell challenges these views and in doing so challenges society's stereotypes as he wants people to recognise the working class can be intelligent and should have equal chances at an education.

  1. Billy Liar; How would I play Billy

    On the line "I told you they were just aspirins," Billy's vocal tone would change from a needing, but powerful voice to a annoyed, loosing patience type of voice, he doesn't want Arthur changing the subject and wasting time, he just wants to do what ever it takes to stop Rita reaching his house.

  2. The Three Girls in Billy Fishers life.

    From her first appearance we can see what kind of person Rita is with her description. Her description is this; Rita approaches the house through the garden. She is a small girl with blonde hair - seventeen years old but she dresses to look much older.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work