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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 777 words

"Educating Rita"

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Willy Russell's play "Educating Rita" only uses one main setting and two main characters. Some people may think that these would make the play seem boring. Russell actually makes the play quite interesting and entertaining by using dramatic devices such as the whiskey bottle and the telephone call. He does this to give us as much information as possible about the characters and their personalities. The play, which is set in the early 1980s, deals with the clashes between education and culture. It is about a middle-aged university lecturer called Frank. He is currently in a relationship with Julia. This relationship is not going too well as Frank is an alcoholic and would much rather go to the pub than go home to Julia. There is also Rita a 26-year-old woman who didn't have a good education when she left school due to her parents' working class background.


When Frank was told that he was going to be tutoring Rita who is an open university student he was not very happy, the only reason he had took the job was so that he could make more money to spend on alcohol. Frank guessed that she was going to be "some silly woman". This gives us the impression that Frank likes to use stereotypes and thinks that there is not much point. He soon realises that Rita has quite a lot to offer in regard to he uniqueness. The Playwright Russell wants to show how class affects education. When we first meet Rita we see that she is not the normal student Frank was expecting. She swears and uses informal colloquial language. This makes us think that Rita is not at all nervous about starting Open University and also makes her working class background obvious.


There is another clash between Frank and Rita and this clash helps to make the play funnier the clash is culture. Rita knows about popular culture which is stuff like television programmes and "Charlie's Angels" there is one huge misunderstanding that stands out above all the rest this is "Do you know Yeats?" "The wine lodge?" "No, Yeats the poet". This shows that frank understands high culture more than he is with popular culture. These misunderstandings create humour and also skilfully inform us of the characters. The Playwright Willy Russell very effectively creates drama, humour, entertainment and suspense by using things such as dramatic devices and lively dialogue. Also by creating two completely different characters he has tastefully added a purposeful clash. The purpose of the clash is to make the play seem more interesting. The suspense is made so that the reader wonders what is going to happen to Rita and Frank this also makes the play seem more exciting and dramatic. ?? ?? ?? ?? Educating Rita Sarah Diment

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