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How does Act 1 Scene 1 of Educating Rita set the scene for the rest of the play?

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Introduction

ENGLISH LITERATURE - EDUCATING RITA ASSIGNMENT How does Act 1 Scene 1 of Educating Rita set the scene for the rest of the play? Chlo� Denis Educating Rita is a play which was written by Willy Russell in the late seventies. It is about a young woman's determination to, "sing better songs" (p68). In this essay, I will focus on the characters, their motives within the plot and the setting of the play to explain how the opening scene of Educating Rita sets the scene for the rest of the play. Act 1 Scene 1 of Educating Rita, introduces the main characters, the setting and the essential ideas of the play, which in this particular play are cultures and personal relationships. The play focuses on these two themes, the way that Frank, the university lecturer, and Rita, the literature student, change and influence each other, and, the big difference between the Characters' cultural references and classes. As a result, the first scene in this play is an essential part of it; and will introduce us to its themes and all the information that will make the audience want to keep on watching. In this essay, I am hoping to understand and observe the play to be able to say if the opening scene does set the scene for the rest of the play or not. ...read more.

Middle

(p14), this makes the play a bit more humorous and makes the audience have less of a negative image of him. Rita changes Frank's life. Later on in the play, she says, "A room is like a plant." (p77), this reflects Frank's incompleteness. The reason why I think this is that, from my point of view, his room needs fresh air, but there are obstacles in making this possible. The window "won't bleedin' budge" (p77) and the door gets stuck a lot. It is the same with Frank, he fails to attain a sense of completeness. However, when being moved to Australia, he gains some hope as things are "just beginning" (p104). The second character we meet is a major one too. This one is Rita, a literature student, and the other most important character of the play. In Scene 1, Rita struggles to come into the room because of the "bleedin' handle" (p14) on the door. Willy Russell uses the door metaphorically to explain how hard and painful it is for Rita to get an Education now, and also, all the decisions she is going to take, such as leaving Denny. We also learn a lot from the room, the fact that the room is full books shows all the knowledge that she is seeking to study but also how difficult this task will be for her. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the opening scene, the way the two characters talk, and their inability to always understand each other's cultural references or each other's way of speaking brings humour to the play. Rita has a 'working-class' accent and speaks colloquially whereas Frank speaks in standard English. However, as she becomes more educated, she learns to adapt her language and grows more confident, but at the beginning, it clearly shows that her language is out of place. In Scene 1, Rita does not use the right register with Frank, and with the help of this, Frank's relationship with Rita increases as he finds her "marvellous" (p24) and even says that she is the "first breath of air that's been in this room for years" (p24), this also shows that their relationship grows straight from the first scene, leaving the audience in slight suspense at the end of each scene. Russell uses Rita's working-class strong accent and rude language to create a source of humour in the play. During the course of the play, Rita changes, and less verbal jokes can be made, but, we can see that Rita still shows humour when talking about Poets. When Rita talks to Frank about Macbeth as "bleeding great" (p59), it shows how much she is starting to like literature and her enthusiasm to plays as such. Frank however, always uses the same tone and standard English. Finally, Russell's use of language is used in order to provide a source of humour to the play which gives entertainment for the audience. ...read more.

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