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How does Rita Change from Act 1 to Act 2 and what techniques does Willy Russell use to help illustrate these changes?

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Introduction

How does Rita Change from Act 1 to Act 2 and what techniques does Willy Russell use to help illustrate these changes? In the play 'Educating Rita' by Willy Russell we are presented with Rita, a very 'in your face' character. During the play she undergoes a lot of changes. She was a Working class woman desperate to learn. So desperate in fact that she forgets about everything else. At her age a working class woman at that time would be expected to have settled down and had a baby but Rita wants more than that, she wants a better life than what she has, doesn't want to be normal like everyone else. But in doing this she does more than get educated; she changes in almost every way and even leaves her husband. This shows how dedicated she is to her education as she won't let anything stop her. When we first meet Rita she struggles to even enter the room, which could represent her difficulty to enter the world of education. ...read more.

Middle

What's funny? I don't wanna be funny I wanna talk seriously with the rest of you.' This shows how she doesn't see working class funny as a real asset; she feels she could do so much better even though frank is confident she would have been fine. She wants to be taken as a serious individual, not as a 'jester'. She starts to change in act 1 as we know that her relationship with her husband Denny starts to deteriorate drastically. He is unhappy with her studying and even burns her books at one point. This leads Rita to make the decision to leave him which marks a whole new point in her life. As it shows her independence and growing confidence. In Act 2 Rita changes beyond belief. At the start of Act 2 scene 1, we learn that she has been to summer school and has clearly found it a life changing experience. ...read more.

Conclusion

Her confidence builds over the course of the play and she changes in personality and Russell does a good job of illustrating these changes. Frank creates an allusion suggesting he has created something unnatural like Frankenstein and it is clear why he thinks this. Rita's first essays were honest accounts of what she thought about things, but by the end of the play it is pure literary criticism. Rita only starts to realise this towards the end as her new flatmate tries to commit suicide. This makes her realise that the middle class people aren't all happy as well. She realises that the people in the working class are all living the way they are practically told to live, but she also learns that just taking in all information and forgetting who she truly is could lead her to something like that. She ends up somewhere in between which is perhaps the best place she could end up as it means she has found the balance. ...read more.

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