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Explore the ways in which Russell engages the audiences interest in the main characters and themes in the opening scene of Educating Rita and explain whether you think the play written in 1979 is still relevant to 2005.

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Introduction

Explore the ways in which Russell engages the audiences interest in the main characters and themes in the opening scene of Educating Rita and explain whether you think the play written in 1979 is still relevant to 2005. Willy Russell's play, Educating Rita, written in 1979, is a story about a typical lower class woman called Rita who decides she wants to lead an 'educated life' and she tries to do this by getting a private tutor called Frank to teach her, but learning to lead an educated life proves to be not what she expected. Willy Russell introduces Frank and Rita in two very different ways. Frank is introduced as a well read university tutor who seems to like his drink; this is shown when Russell writes 'the walls are lined with books' making him appear educated. But then writes: "pulls out a pile of books to reveal a bottle of whisky" which makes the audience question their first impression of him as a typical university teacher, is he an alchoholic? Does he drink too much? ...read more.

Middle

like 'Look at those tits' when she is talking about the religious painting on the wall also she swears in mid conversation like it is accepted as a norm she abbreviates her sentences "that's fuckin' rubbish" and "D' y' get a lot like me?" this shows she has a strong Liverpudlian accent and makes her seem more like a typical lower class Liverpudlian . Frank speaks properly and uses words like 'darling' which shows he is upper class and speaks properly to people, darling is something which is stereotyped as a posh thing to say, he also pronounces his words in standard English with out any abbreviations. Russell sets the entire play in one study, I think he does this because it focuses more on the characters and what is going on with their lives, this is called unity of place, it makes the story easy to follow and non confusing, the audience will never be lost for where to look as there will never be anything totally new to look at, Russell specifies that the university is "Victorian-built" which emphasises that it must be an old and grand university, suggesting from the start that it is upper class. ...read more.

Conclusion

Frank and rita also seem to have a sort of Incompleteness their lives for example franks drinking suggests he is hiding from or missing something in his life, and Rita also says ' I want to be free' which means she feels trapped in her life and wants to escape and she wants to do this by getting educated. They both seem to change through the play almost into totally different people, Rita changes her name to susan as she thinks it sounds 'proper'. The play has a certain humour about it as the two characters personalities and views are almost opposite, this creates chaos, as neither of them knows what the other is talking about which is amusing to the audience, and Rita is very loud and uses a lot of swearing and slang which is not what you would expect in a university. In conclusion, Russell uses the contrast of the two characters in Educating Rita to create humour and engage the audience, whilst facing issues and views that are still a problem and relevant to today in 2005. ?? ?? ?? ?? Joe Brown 10JC ...read more.

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