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"Education gives you a choice." How does Willy Russell show this through changes made in Educating Rita.

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Introduction

"Education gives you a choice." How does Willy Russell show this through changes made in Educating Rita Russell wrote the play so that it was set in Liverpool in the 80's. This may seem strange as what he saw as important when writing the play was the matter of social class. This doesn't make much sense because in the 80's in England there was supposedly no social hierarchy. However, this isn't completely true as the more money you had the more socially important you were. Any person could get a good job no matter how much money they had and women were trying to get power. This relates to the play in the way that Rita wants to become educated and so gain more power. Some people might say this is incorrect as she states that she is trying to find herself, therefore the main idea behind this play that if you drop out of school at an early age then you can still be successful, which shows that this book is very similar to Russell's own life. He dropped out of school early and became a hairdresser the same as Rita, only then did he decide to go back to school and only then did he become a famous writer. ...read more.

Middle

She is being educated because she talks in Received Pronunciation, which is considered to be more superior to an accent. Therefore she has gone up in the social world and so has been educated. However, at the start of the play she mentions about trying to find herself and indeed becoming someone else would mean that she is not finding herself but a new person instead. Russell shows Rita's changes by making her change her normal routine, she gives up smoking and working at the hairdressers. This is symbol of her not only changing her life, but also her soul. Frank values Rita's working class culture because she is very keen to learn which is a quality, which may not be present in all working class people. She really wants to become an A* grade student which shows a lot of determination. This could also represent her life, she drops out of school at an early age and then has the determination to go back to learn again. This huge motivation probably comes from the fact that she wants to find herself. This also shows great courage as she doesn't know if becoming educated will help her find herself but she goes and does it anyway. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that she still has a misconception of the way that the university is run, and showing that she is not educated. Rita has gained and lost constantly in the play, both through education and socially. Through education she has gained knowledge and an understanding on literature along with a feeling of intelligence. This may come from the fact that some of the other students look up to her and rely on her to answer their questions about literature. Socially she has gained confidence and her accent starts to go which would make her more respectable. Proof of this is that at the start of the play she would talk like, "Y' wanna be careful with that stuff, it kills y' brain cells". At the end of the play she talks like, "Are you sober, are you". She finds a lot of friends whilst at university and she feels that she has gone up in the social world. She loses her old personality but then she does gain a new one. However, during the process of her trying to find herself Denny breaks up with her and along with Denny she probably would have lost a few of her old friends as well. ...read more.

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