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How has education changed Rita?

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Educating Rita is a play written by Willy Russell. It is about a woman called Rita who feels her life is not fulfilled so she goes to Frank who works at an Open University to tutor her. Rita has a husband called Denny. He is working class and has never been to university, like Rita before she goes to she Frank. Frank on the other hand is a lecturer of literature but does not have everything. He is unhappy at home and is often drunk at his tutorials. The audience's first impression of Frank is that he likes a drink (or two) because in the first scene he is looking for his hidden bottle of whisky. We know straight away that he is a heavy drunk. We only hear Frank talking on the telephone with his partner, Julie. Frank doesn't treat Julie with any respect. He has no intension of going home for tea, he would much prefer to get drunk at the pub. After putting down the phone Frank says " yes that's it you go and put your head in the oven". ...read more.


When frank flirts with Rita she puts her self down to try and stop him "Well, what's she got to be jealous of me for". This suggests that they both think different things about their relationship. Rita thinks they're friends but I think Frank wants more or maybe he's joking. Rita thinks of frank as a tutor and a friend but nothing more for example "You're a good friend Frank". Rita tells Frank that Denny "gets dead narked if I work at home". This shows that Denny doesn't like Rita going out. Perhaps he does not want her to do better than him. Rita says that Denny is afraid of her getting stronger by going to Open University. He would prefer her to "go out to the pub with him an' his mates". He is probably afraid that he will lose her. Denny is working class however Rita talks about working class culture "round our way like" - meaning going to pubs and talks about people in the hairdressers not understanding about books. ...read more.


Rita doesn't rely on Frank much any more because she starts to become more confident and independently minded. She goes to a summer school to learn even more. Frank is surprised when Rita has read poems by William Blake already. She has made opinions of her own without Frank helping her. Frank still wants and needs Rita because she is the only thing left in his life. I know this because he asks her to go to Australia with him "Rita, will you come away with me". Again we don't really know if he is joking or not. The audience feels that Denny is a nice man but doesn't think about what Rita wants and needs. The audience think that Frank doesn't really care any more for example getting drunk before lectures. Education has changed Rita into a completely different woman; she speaks good English and writes literately. At the end of the play when she has passed her exams we don't know what Rita will do next. She may go to France. She says she may even have a baby, "I'll make a decision, I'll choose. I dunno". She will take her time and now is more confident to choose herself. ...read more.

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