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How does Willy Russel depict aspects of the English class?

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Introduction

How does Willy Russel depict aspects of the English class? Educating Rita is a play about a working class girl who is tired of her lifestyle and asks a university tutor to educate her in an attempt to change her ways her life. Her tutor, Frank, shows her the cultures and values of the middle class world as well as teaching her about literature even though he too is tired of his lifestyle. Rita forces herself to change and realises the damage she causes to herself, acting as someone she isn't. Willy Russel writes about the clash of cultures from each of the English classes. In the beginning of the play when Rita and Frank first meet, they hardly understand each other: 'Frank stares at Rita who stands by the desk Frank: You are? Rita: What am I? Frank: Pardon? Rita: What? Frank: (looking for admission papers) Now you are? Rita: I'm a what?' The way of speaking in each class is so alien to the other and both Rita and Frank are totally bemused. Willy Russell uses this to show how much each class is separated with the other and how little to do they have ...read more.

Middle

she feels empty when she buys a new dress, and the reason why there is vandalism and violence, is because people are finding so little meaning to their lives. Willy Russell shows how each class rejects the other when Denny burns all of Rita's books, because she is not behaving in the way expected of her, doing the things expected of her social class and Rita complains that she wants a choice, and believes that this education would give her that choice, 'I told him I'd only have a baby when I had a choice. But he doesn't understand. He thinks we have choice because we can go to a pub that sells eight different types of lager'. Rita thinks that the education Frank is giving her is her chance for a choice because when she was at school, she was pressured by friends and family to reject education, 'But studyin' was just for the whimps, wasn't it? See, if I'd started takin' school seriously I would have had to become different to me mates, an' that's not allowed.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Rita recalls when everyone went to the pub, 'I said, 'why are you crying mother?' She said, 'because - because we could sing better songs than those.' Ten minutes later, Denny had her singing again, pretending that she hadn't said it. But she had. And that's why I came back', Rita feels that her family is acting in pointless ways, pretending to themselves, e.g. like her mother, and feels she cannot bear to keep living a lie and wants to be able live how she wants to live, but in the end realises her education may not have been as amazing for her as she thought, in the last scene she tells of her flatmate and how she resented her lifestyle, in the end trying to kill herself. Rita realised she didn't want just to be able to regurgitate quotes and empty phrases, but to be herself, to enjoy whatever aspects of each social class she wants. In conclusion, the message that Willy Russell is trying to convey is that the boundaries of social class can be broken, and the key to success is to be yourself and embrace individuality rather to conform to the sheep of society Sebastian Spiers 2003-02-23 1 ...read more.

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