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How does Willy Russell present therelationship between Frank and Rita?

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Introduction

How does Willy Russell present the relationship between Frank and Rita? At the start of the play, Frank and Rita can be seen as opposites; Frank is a middle aged academic, whilst Rita is a young, female hairdresser. Any friendship between the two seems unlikely, but they quickly warm to one another as first appearances show. They are both involved in unsatisfactory relationships, and they both want more from life than it seems to offer. The main difference between the characters are that, whereas Rita has recognised her unhappiness and is determined to change it through becoming educated, Frank is more negative and prefers to drown his sorrows in alcohol. Frank and Rita become friends because she needs him to teach her, and he needs the vitality and freshness that she brings to his life. Willy Russell presents Frank and Rita's relationship, and the changes it goes through, in a variety of ways. The relationship starts off well when they meet each other in scene one and the contrast of personalities is shown very well, Frank leads the boring lifestyle, whereas Rita bursts in and is full of life- their personalities and characters are totally opposite. Frank could do with a bit of something different in his life and this is why he takes to her so warmly. I think that the reader comes under the impression that Frank may want something out of this relationship other than teaching his literary knowledge. ...read more.

Middle

FRANK: But I don't know if I want to tell you, Rita, I don't know that I want to teach you. What you already have is valuable. RITA: Valuable? What's valuable? The only thing I value is comin' here once a week. FRANK: But, don't you see, if you're going to write this sort of stuff to pass examinations, you're going to have to suppress, perhaps even abandon your uniqueness. I'm going to have to change you. RITA: But don't you realize, I want to change! Listen, is this your way of tellin' me that I can't do it? That I'm no good? From this argument Frank likes what Rita has and does not want to change this. I think this is the only reason that he keeps teaching her. He restrains from teaching her fully though because he does not want her to change. Rita however, feels that she has nothing to live for until she finds herself and she believes that finding herself is by gaining an education and studying literature. The most important thing is that she wants to change but Frank doesn't (want her to change). In act two Rita has changed in a few ways, the main being that she is now mixing with the students to which she formerly made comments about and would refuse to talk to them. RITA: You work for the ordinary university, don't y'? ...read more.

Conclusion

Rita has also gained a lot of confidence due to this trip. When she is in a hall with a few other thousand students she stands up and asks a question. Before she though she was not very confident and would not have dared to ask this question. In Act 2 scene 5 it is clear to see that Frank has been drinking a few. Rita goes to Frank and tells him that his poetry is brilliant. Frank then changes the subject slightly and goes on to tell Rita how he has changed her and that he doesn't like the change he sees. Frank in his own words then says that he can't bare Rita anymore. Through the last few scenes both of them have changed considerably and Frank especially does not like the change that he sees in Rita and due to this he continues to argue with her. The most important thing is that education has given Rita choice. She now has a lot more freedom to what she wants, as she is educated, she can choose form a number of jobs, she can choose which type of people she wishes to socialise with an so on. I think that overall both of them have learned that sometimes times change and people change and In the end I think they both accept this as they get on good ground with each other. At the very end Rita gives Frank a hair cut that she has promised him since Act one scene one. ...read more.

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