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Is Rita trying to discover herself or is she trying to escape her background? Educating Rita.

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Asa Wootton Is Rita trying to discover herself or is she trying to escape her background? Rita is a middle class woman in her early twenties. She feels her life is at a standstill. She is currently a beautician and works part time while attending university to study English literature. She is married to a man named Denny who has no aspirations and a dead end job, the only thing he desires is a child to keep the family name going. From Rita's point of view this is a trivial matter in which she does not wish to pursue at the present moment in time and to emend the problem she takes contraceptive pills but hides them from her husband. Rita meets a university lecturer named Frank who becomes her personal tutor. She takes an immediate liking to him because he is witty and humorous in his style of teaching. She believes that in order to find her true self, she needs to read into literature. Rita's interest in literature can be perceived in two ways. One way to appreciate it is to think that she is doing it for the sake of finding her true self. ...read more.


However, the other point of view from which the situation can be perceived is that Rita is going to university to be something she is not, that she is simply trying to escape her middle class background and escape the accustomed monotony of life that she encounters. This is apparent from the people she starts to associate with. They are from a different genre and are far younger than her. She sees the opportunity of university as an outlet from her previous ways. When she meets Frank she tells him what life is like and how she deals with it and throughout the play it is apparent from Franks perception that she was simply trying to escape her background. He realises this when she starts to abstain from his tutorials and socialise with the likes of Trish, her new flatmate. She starts to work more often and begins a new lifestyle in which she does not need Frank or her old way of life. This is evident from when she tells Frank about Trish and how sophisticated she is and how she has had such a positive impact on her life. ...read more.


She soon becomes stressed by the frequent deeds she is asked to perform and finds the lifestyle too chaotic to handle. This is all bought into effect with the sudden extraordinary suicide attempt of Trish; her so called sophisticated perfect flatmate. Trish is a role model to Rita and through the attempted suicide Rita begins to understand that the way of the upper class is not always the best way and she should have been content with herself prior to the whole charade of university. It is true to say that she is enlightened by the experience and that it has shown increased her knowledge of the world, although she ephemerally enjoyed the high class living she ended up being what she was in the first place. Rita was trying to discover herself but through this she inadvertently was also trying to escape her background, maybe as an alternative to the monotony she was once faced with. At the end of the play this is all evident when she goes back to her old ways and knows that her life was temporarily just a fa�ade, that the reality of the situation was that she was just a middle class woman that wanted to be something she was not. Her high aspirations and a hunger for something better are valid but nevertheless she could never have changed her background. ...read more.

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