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I plan to show how the phrase better song to sing illustrates the central themes of educating Rita which are the differences between working class and middle-class society.

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Introduction

JULIE WILCOX ENGLISH LITERATURE FOUND A BETTER SONG TO SING HAVE YOU RITA? NO - YOU'VE FOUND A DIFFERENT SONG THAT'S ALL (ACT 2 SCENE 5) HOW DOES THIS ILLUSTRATE THE CENTRAL THEMES OF EDUCATING RITA? In this essay I plan to show how the phrase better song to sing illustrates the central themes of educating Rita which are the differences between working class and middle-class society, the importance of education and the difficulty experienced by the working classes in their pursuit of education. The play also shows sympathy for the struggles of the feminist movement. The two characters in the play are Rita, a 26-year-old hairdresser from a working class background and Frank, who is older than Rita and a middle class university lecturer. Also mentioned although not actually appearing in the play are Denny, Rita's husband, Julia, Frank's partner and Trish, who later in the play becomes Rita's flatmate. It could be said that Russell uses Rita to describe his early self. He came from a working class background and at school developed a love of books although he didn't get much of an education. After leaving school he became a ladies hairdresser and even went on to own his own salon but this wasn't what he wanted out of life. ...read more.

Middle

He can't understand Rita's need to learn, he sees her as happy-go-lucky and doesn't want her to change. Frank is worried about educating Rita because he realises that education doesn't hold all the answers. He realises that Rita is looking for a better way of life or song to sing but he cannot guarantee that for her, he knows she will find a different song to sing but it may not hold all the answers for her. He sees Rita as innocent and would like her to stay that way but what Rita wants more than anything is choice. Looking at the two characters it seems that each wants what the other has. Frank walks past a pub and hears the people singing and thinks that they sound happy, without a care in the world. Rita however looks to Frank with his books, his education and even his accent and wants to be like him. Both are looking for a better way of life or a better song to sing. During the play Rita undergoes a sort of metamorphosis, her life changes and she changes with it. Act 1 scene 7 Frank questions Rita about her absence at the dinner party and we learn that although she wants to move into middle class society she is not ready, she is still very insecure. ...read more.

Conclusion

Oh, Rita, Rita..."). It takes Trish's attempted suicide to make Rita realise that changes on the outside don't change you on the inside. Throughout the play that is what Rita is striving for. Change and the freedom to choose whether or not, or in which way she will change. When Rita realises what Trish has done she sees that although Trish had everything that she, Rita, wanted out of life she still wasn't happy. As with Frank, he had everything that Rita had worked towards but he wasn't happy. Rita now had an education something she had felt deprived of, but that wasn't the answer. Rita found that with education came the freedom to choose what to do next, nobody was forcing her to do anything. She had escaped the confines of her working class background and her future, whatever she CHOSE was waiting for her. Education had opened up her options; education couldn't change the person she is, no matter how much she wanted it to. But it did show her that escape from her working class roots and the ties attached to womanhood offered not a better song to sing but a different song to sing and a different way to live her life. So although the central themes of Educating Rita are education, feminism and the battle of the classes I feel that the main theme in this play is different is not necessarily better. 5 1 ...read more.

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