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In 'Educating Rita' Russell writes, "education gives you a choice" - How does Russell illustrate to the audience the change in Rita as a result of her choosing education throughout the play?

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Introduction

In 'Educating Rita' Russell writes, "education gives you a choice." How does Russell illustrate to the audience the change in Rita as a result of her choosing education throughout the play? During the play 'Educating Rita', Rita changes dramatically due to her desire to have choice. Russell illustrates this to the audience in a variety of different ways to slowly reveal the change in Rita due to her newfound choice and education. Most ideas and themes throughout the play, such as class and discontentment are linked and a result of the central themes of choice and education, which also plays an important role in the life of Rita. During the play 'Educating Rita' we see the struggle of young working class Liverpudlian, hairdresser Rita as she tries to get an education, break away from her class and give herself more choice in life. Her tutor Frank is a well-educated professor with a drink problem who teaches Rita many things about both literature and life. Their relationship slowly develops over the course of the play, as Rita tries to become a successful student. Rita wants to change herself totally and she considers education the way to do this. She wants to change herself from the inside by receiving an education and this will help her to change her attitude towards life. For example, when talking about her profession she says: " These women, you see, they come to the hairdressers because they want to be changed. But if you want to change y' have to do it from the inside, don't y'? Know like I'm doing." (Act1: 1) Rita has chosen education to give her choice in her life but it is not the first time that she could have chosen education. At her school she could have chosen to study but she was under peer pressure as "studying was just for wimps." (Act 1:2) ...read more.

Middle

She tries to more the focus away from herself and to other items in the room. "That's a nice picture isn't it?"(Act 1:1) This shows her insecurities and how she lacks confidence in herself as a person. She also has a low attention span and she cannot focus on one thing for very long. "Rita begins to look around the room." (Act 1:1) Rita is nervous lacks confidence in herself and is afraid to settle and start the lesson in fear that any attention may be drawn to her. "Frank: Would you-erm-would you like to sit down? Rita: No! Can I smoke?" (Act 1:1) "She becomes uncomfortable and moves away a little." (Act 1:1) After she returns from summer school she has a great deal of confidence both in herself and her work. Education from a summer school has made her a totally different person. She is excited, full of news and has a wide knowledge of literature. She no longer has her innocent point of view and she is independent, as she no longer needs the help of Frank. Not only can the audience see the change in her through all this but also there are many physical changes, which take place. She gives up smoking and wears new second hand clothes. The long coat, which she wears, is maybe symbolic of the way that she is trying to cover up her true self and disguise herself to fit into the educated class. "Rita enters and shuts the door. She is wrapped in a large winter coat."(Act 2:7) Another influence that led Rita to become educated was her mother. "When I looked round me mother had stopped singin', an' she was cryin'.. I said, ' Why are y' cryin' mother?' She said because-because we could sing better songs than those.'.... And that's why I came back. And that's why I am staying." (Act1: 7) ...read more.

Conclusion

he has done as he fells like Mary Shelley the author of Frankenstein because he fells that he has created a monster in Rita. This is however not true as the relationship between Rita and Frank gave Rita the confidence and determination that she needed to fight through her barrier of class and become the educated and ambitious women which we see in the final scene of the play. The relationship between Frank and Rita however does have its ups and downs and when Rita has learned 'everything' from Frank he is reluctant to accept it. "I've got what you got Frank, and you don't like it." By the end of the play however Rita has gained what she set out to achieve. She has finally got choice. She is also happy that she now has more than one direction to follow in life. "I dunno, I might go to France. I might go to me mothers. I might even have a baby. I'll make the decision. I'll choose."(Act 2:7) The fact that she is considering having a baby reinforces even more that she now has choice, as earlier in the play she said: "I'd told him I'd only have a baby when I have choice." (Act 1:5) Throughout the play the audience is aware of the changes, which are taking place in Rita due to her want for education. At the beginning of the play Rita wanted to change herself. To provide herself with options and she used education as a way of doing this and to for fill her dreams which we see at the end of the play. The change, which takes place in her, this is shown by Russell in a variety of different ways to the audience. Russell uses a variety of ways to show the change in Rita through her entrances, speech and body language. Russell uses these techniques well to slowly show the reader the change in Rita sometimes even if they do not realise it. 1 ...read more.

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