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Educating Rita - Studying act 2 scene 4 and 5.

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Introduction

Studying act 2 scene 4 and 5 Act 4 and 5 contains the dramatic climax of the play. The relationship between Frank and Rita reaches a crisis point. Following these scenes the relationship between them changes significantly. There is a complex number of underlying themes to the way in which the leading characters interact with each other. In acts four and five each of these themes are challenged and changed. It is clear that these changes are hurtful to the characters but they both realise they have benefited from each other. This is romantic comedy the scenes being reviewed are the storm before the calm of the happy ending. The relationship between Frank and Rita is left as a question mark, a cliff-hanger. What is certain is the benefit that both characters have had from this relationship. Frank and Rita's relationship can be seen from a number of main aspects or themes. The first, appearing early in the play is the fact that they are potential lovers. There had been signs of flirting between Frank and Rita such as "Why didn't you walk into this room twenty years ago?" We again realise there is a sexual element in their relationship as old, staid Frank is jealous of 'Tiger.' He asks Rita in act two scene four "Is Mr Tyson one of your customer's?" ...read more.

Middle

She has led a sheltered life and in academic terms is still a young girl. Rita herself acknowledges this in scene five, she refers to Frank as being afraid of losing his little girl "don't y' like me now that the little girl's grown up, now that y' can no longer bounce me on daddy's knee an' watch me stare back in wide-eyed wonder at everything he has to say?" In the beginning of scene four, Frank has given Rita some indication of his fatherly concern. He tells her that he is worried about her whereabouts as she wasn't at last week's lesson. Like a parent he had started to ring up the possible places in which she might be such as the hairdresser's shop in which he thought she worked. The stage directions show Frank looking at his watch when Rita is late for his lesson again, like a nervous father. This aspect of the relationship is destined to end gradually as Rita starts to find her independence and like a child grows up and goes her own way. Frank however is not ready for this and feels unable to let Rita go. He takes it very personally when Rita forgets to tell him about her new job. He feels that he is being forgotten just like her old working class life style. ...read more.

Conclusion

However it also shows that Frank believes that she understands and reads serious literature opposed to her previous devouring of "pulp fiction." The test for the relationship is that Frank gives to Rita his poems for literary criticism. The success is that she has learnt enough from Frank to be able to under take this test. The stage directions emphasises the importance of this action going to a draw taking out the poems and then the demonstration of tearing them up in front of her. Franks high point is that as a teacher he is able to get her to understand that she requires using her own judgement as an individual for the exercise to mean anything. Following scene 5 the only real relationship that the two of them have is that of pupil and teacher, which is what they started with. Frank ensures that she turns up for the exams. She reciprocates this by acknowledging that Frank is a good teacher His reward is that it gives him the confidence to rebel "bugger the bursar" and the energy to break out of his rut, the prison of familiarity created in the play and highlighted by the stage directions, the windows that won't open, the door that sticks the bottle of whiskey and the desk. Rita's reward is that Frank enables her to pass the exam and find herself. The metaphor used for her self discovery is that she now feels able to cut Frank's hair and not be ashamed of the fact that she is a good hairdresser. ...read more.

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