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How Does Willy Russell present the changes in Rita's character during the play? The play Educating Rita

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How Does Willy Russell present the changes in Rita's character during the play? The play Educating Rita is about one woman's struggle to improve her live and make choices for herself during the play, Rita's character undertakes some major changes as she evolves into the person she wanted to become. Rita is a twenty six years old hairdresser who is married and lives with her husband, who expects her to have babies and be satisfied with raising a family. Rita however, has other ideas and although she has a simplistic view of life, has decided to take an Open University course in literature to try and better herself. At the beginning of the play Rita is a brash but insecure young woman who knows nothing about literature or indeed about life outside of her own limited social sphere. As the play goes on Rita increases her academic ability and her social standing, until at the end of the play Rita has become a well informed young lady who is able to make her own choices in life. At the beginning of the play, Willy Russell introduces Rita's character and immediately she comes across as common and vulgar. "I'm coming in aren't I? ...read more.


The playwright tries to make the reader feel sorry for Rita in this situation. Rita's state of affairs worsens when she begins to take notice of her flat mate Trish. Rita tries to change the way she talks "as Trish says, there is not a lot of point in discussing beautiful literature in an ugly voice." Willy Russell still presents Rita with the need to fit in with her peers, even though she now has the ability to mix with 'proper students' it is not until the end of the play that Rita realises that she has reached her goal and by being herself is now accepted in any social class "Nobody calls me Rita but you. I dropped that pretentious crap as soon as I saw it for what it was." Rita's husband Denny does not have much ambition and does not want Rita to have any either. Denny is quite happy to be a husband and a father and thinks that Rita is happy to do the same. When Rita tried to explain to him that she wanted more, he didn't seem to understand "No, he's not thick, he's blind, he doesn't want to see." Rather than cause an argument, Rita lies to Denny and tells him she has come off the pill. ...read more.


"I don't have to go along one hundred percent with your views on Blake y' know. I can have a mind of my own can't I." Willy Russell develops this part of Rita's character even more and she begins to criticise frank and his drinking. "if you stop pouring that junk down your throat...then it might be worth comin' here." Although Rita and Frank do have a big argument over the fact that Rita has become educated an no longer needs frank, they do reconcile at the end of the play. Rita tells Frank what a good teacher he has been and what he has done for her. "All I've ever done is take from you I've never given anything." The playwright shows the audience much of Rita's development in her way of speaking. She never really drops her way of speaking in slang, but she becomes more confident in speaking her mind. She also learns the language of literature and how to apply it. "it becomes a more rewarding poem when you see that is works on a number of levels." Rita's character changes greatly from the beginning of the play, as she works her way out of her working class background, at the expense of her husband and her friends. She achieves her goal and realises she has freedom of choice, but not without some sacrifices along the way. Steven Kite10SOC ...read more.

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