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Explore the development of the characters of Frank and Rita in the play Educating Rita.

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Alice Marks Feb '04 Explore the development of the characters of Frank and Rita in the play Educating Rita. o How does Rita change in the course of the play? o How does Rita's relationship with Frank develop throughout the course of the play? In this essay I will be addressing the development of the characters Rita and Frank, from the play Educating Rita, develops throughout the course of the play. I will also make a comparison between the play and the film version starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine. Rita is an uneducated working housewife, stuck in a world her husband and family wont let her escape from - but she wants to. Frank is also stuck, but this time on a path to self-destruction. He is a self-pitying ex-poet with a dire drinking problem currently trying to teach university students. At the beginning of the play, where Rita and Frank first meet in Frank's office, Rita comments about the 'erotic' picture on Frank's wall. From the way they both address the issue you can tell that they come from very different backgrounds. Frank describes the picture as: "beautiful" Rita however says: "look at those tits" We can tell from this that Frank is a cultured man who sees past the vulgarity of the picture that Rita sees. She doesn't have the knowledge or understanding of something like that to see anything other than its front. ...read more.


In the very last scene of Act 1 we discover that Rita has also taken the momentous step to leave her husband Denny. This inspires her onward and upward with her education. At summer school she gains more confidence in herself as an 'educated woman'. This extract shows that although she is fast becoming the sort of person she desires to be she is still Rita inside: " Y' know at first I was dead scared. I didn't know anyone. I was gonna come home. But the first afternoon I was standin' in this library, y' know lookin' at the books, pretendin' I was dead clever. Anyway, this tutor come up to me, he looked at the book in me hand an' he said, 'Ah, are you fond of Ferlinghetti?' It was right on the tip of me tongue to say, 'only when it's served with parmesan cheese', but, Frank, I didn't. I held it back an' I heard meself sayin', 'Actually I'm not too familiar with the American poets'. " She talks of her insecurities, the feeling that again, she didn't belong but even though she thought a tongue in cheek reply, she had the choice this time to say something more tactful. This is due to her educational development. It is this choice that she speaks of when upon sitting her exam, she is faced with the question: 'Suggest how you would resolve the staging difficulties inherent in a production of Ibsen's Peer Gint'. ...read more.


He worked at a job that could easily have killed him until he earned just enough to cover the fees for him to go to Childwall College where he felt he could start again. Like Rita he was getting himself an education to fulfil his dreams and ambitions. Conclusion Overall this play is about changing your life to become the sort of person you desire to become. To rise above your up bringing, shy away from what is expected of you and fulfil your dreams. It is Willy Russell almost detailing his life and how he felt as he did what we see Rita doing in the play. Frank is however a character we must also account for. He starts off sarcastic witty and unhappy. He ends up at rock bottom with a horrendous drinking problem alone in the world and being sent to Australia for two years. He is the sort of person born to the 'right' background but who cannot ever appreciate its advantages the way Rita can. I think audiences going to see this play will enjoy the witty and engaging repartee between Rita and Frank in the beginning and Rita's success paying off toward the end. I liked the way the play portrays the message of hope for people like Rita who feels consigned to their situation. It shows them that with hard work and determination they can lead the life they feel they could only hope for. Even though the play was written in the eighties I feel its relevance is still very fitting today. ...read more.

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