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Educating Rita - Willy Russell

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Educating Rita - Willy Russell Educating Rita was a play, which was written by Willy Russell. The book is a semi autobiographical story about a woman who has achieved nothing in her life and wants to get an education before it is too late. She is being forced to have a baby by her husband Denny and regrets not getting any qualifications. With a lack of learning she had only hairdressing to turn to. She started to feel like she was just another person in a crowd, nobody special at home so she starts a literature course at the Open University. Where she is given Frank as a tutor. Frank teaches her literature. She is an outcast to begin but it doesn't take long before she becomes a stereotypical student sitting on the lawn. Frank is a middle-aged man, divorced but not single. His girlfriend Julia who we find cheating on him. As an English Lecturer and former poet, he understands the deeper meaning behind literature, but he can't remember it half the time because of his little drinking problem. The character of Rita was based on the writer's own life and experiences. They both grew up outside Liverpool with a poor education and a lack of qualifications. They both set off to change their lives. Rita became a student while Willy Russell lived his dream of being a writer. ...read more.


In act 1, scene 7 Frank invites Rita to a dinner party. He wants her to attend possibly with Denny and to be herself. She gets the impression she was asked to bethe "court jester". A form of conversation. Somebody to make everybody laugh. She doesn't want to go but in the end Frank persuades her. She gets dressed up in her new clothes and buys a bottle of wine "Spanish plonk" to take as a gift. When she shows up she looks into the window, she sees all the intellectual and sophisticated guests. She starts to feel like a "half-caste" as if she isn't meant to be there. She takes her essay and writes sorry on the back and explains why she couldn't come in and leaves it for Frank to find on his car. She felt like she was different, like a "freak" "I'd brought the wrong sort of wine". When Rita doesn't arrive at the dinner Frank felt upset. He doesn't want Rita to be like everyone else. He believes that her uniqueness is special and a quality she must keep hold of. He explains to her the next day how he only invited her to be herself and he know everybody else would like her, not as the source of entertainment but as on open minded woman. That is just as Frank sees her. ...read more.


Now she can do whatever she wants and moving to Australia would mean she would be running away from all of her opportunities at home. Frank gives Rita a dress for an educated woman in the end scene. As a thank you Rita gives Frank a present that she promised him in the beginning, a haircut. Rita has a new life and is full of determination. Now she has an education, independence and can decide what her next move is. "I dunno I might go to France, I might go to me mothers, I might even have a baby. I dunno, I'll make a decision, I'll choose." To summarise Rita was fed up with her life but with the right push she got the confidence she needed. Through thick and thin Rita was going to get what she wanted, an education and a chance to prove herself. After taking a course at the Open University, She meets Frank, a former poet. He guides her through this and attempts to help her fit in but she refuses to associate with Frank's friends. She went to summer school and came back a changed woman, she was independent but a bit overconfident. Frank dislikes Rita's new attitude, she has become selfish and cheeky but once her room mate attempts suicide she realises that being a student isn't all that great. She apologises to Frank and has that chance to do whatever she wants now. From this we are told along with many other lessons that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. ...read more.

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