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Educating Rita - summary of theme and narrative

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Introduction

Educating Rita. Educating Rita is a Willy Russell play, about a young woman named Rita, wanting to be educated and a middle class alcoholic man called Frank who educates her. The play is mainly based on those two characters and how they change throughout their lives whilst studying literature. The introduction to the play is all about Russell and his experiences. He explains his childhood in 6 pages, and tells us of how he came from many different carrier moves to become a writer. He explains how he came from Huyton where the manners were not so good and "everyone else talked funny to them" to Rainford "where even the thugs observed some sort of manners" and "compared to Huyton it was paradise", and where he got properly educated. The play is mirrored on his life up to the point when he becomes educated. At the beginning of the play Rita is very dialect and upfront, she doesn't give Frank room to talk, and her language isn't what you would expect from a student talking to an educated man, as she says things like "look at those t*ts". Rita doesn't really have the right attitude to be educated, and she sounds as if she's not willing to learn, as when she's asked to sit down she says "no" then changes the subject to smoking which doesn't create a very studious atmosphere. ...read more.

Middle

Whilst earning a living from a dead end job and that's exactly how she sees her culture. Here is where we start to see a change in Rita, she starts to come to the Open University with the right frame of mind to work and she is serious about studying. Whereas frank would rather talk about her marriage, he keeps going onto the subject of her marriage and asking her questions, Rita keeps answering the questions in the form of chekhov but Frank keeps referring back to her marriage. Frank says; "what are you going to do", then Rita says; "ill order some new copies and do the essay again", but frank refers back to her marriage by saying; "I meant about your husband". Its almost as if they have switched minds, Rita has changed Frank in a way, just by being herself. When Rita goes to see Macbeth it signifies the first step to Rita's bettering herself and living like the other half lives, or in Rita's words educated posh people. Rita is excited by the fact that she actually enjoyed Macbeth when she thought it would be "dead borin". Rita shows real enthusiasm towards Macbeth and she even says she's going to write an essay on it, which implies that she actually that she actually wants to learn for the sake of learning something rather than getting educated just to change or better herself. ...read more.

Conclusion

you was so late I phoned the shop", "you didn't tell me you don't work there no more", and Rita replies, "didn't I, I thought I did, I was telling someone", "oh sorry, well I work at a bistro now", Frank is disturbed by the fact that Rita doesn't tell him everything no more, but Rita cant see that frank is disturbed and upset by this, she simply doesn't need him no more. They argue at the end but its nothing serious, frank is going to Australia know, Rita is educated and she can go somewhere in her life know, the last time they meet Rita wants to give something back to frank for educating her, so she tells him she is going to take ten years off him and cuts his hair, this is what Rita is giving frank in return for his help and understanding. In conclusion Rita finally reached her goal but to get there she lost some pretty important things such as her husband and the chance to have a family. She has came from a funny and what appears to be a happy person to a serious educated person, but she also turned her back on her culture in order to become educated which she didn't need to do, so Rita has lost allot more than she has gained in the long run. ...read more.

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