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The relationship between Frank and Rita

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The relationship between Frank and Rita Frank and Rita appear to be complete opposites. On the surface, they couldn't be more different. They come from two contrasting social backgrounds - Frank is a well-educated man of middle-upper class. Rita is an uneducated working-class girl. Their jobs go from one intellectual extreme to the other - Frank is a university professor while Rita works as a hairdresser. However, Frank and Rita have more in common than we first realise. Rita is discontented with her present life - she feels incomplete, like she's missed out on something. She feels that the so-called 'working class culture' she was brought up in is hollow and meaningless. Rita is determined to get the education she never got, to raise her standards of living, and also to raise her from her state of ignorance to one of intellectual and social confidence. She looks down on herself and the culture she belongs to, but is optimistic that she can learn her way into a better way of life. She believes that freedom will come with education; therefore Frank can give her this freedom by educating her. Frank is also unhappy with his existence. ...read more.


When Frank says that he doesn't want to teach Rita, she first becomes upset and then indignant: Rita: Because you're a crazy mad piss artist who wants to throw his students through the window, and I like you. She is adamant that Frank will be her tutor, and in the end she gets her own way. It is then clear that, although Frank is the tutor and Rita the pupil, Rita has basic control over the relationship between them. They are constantly throwing light-hearted verbal abuse at each other and quickly become good friends. Frank also becomes Rita's role model. She shows interest in Frank by asking intimate and quite nosy questions about his personal life: Rita: Are you married? What's your wife like? Why did you split up? He shows interest in her by openly flirting with her: Frank: What I'd actually like to do is take you by the hand and run out of this room forever. Right now there's a thousand things I'd rather do than teach; most of them with you, young lady... As they get further into the course and Rita's relationship with her husband Denny begins to deteriorate, it starts to become clear that whatever non-teacher-pupil feelings Frank may feel for Rita are unrequited. ...read more.


As Frank and Rita get to know each other and he realises that she is capable of learning the same things that he has studied, he becomes more open-minded and so doesn't care about what Rita wears and what she talks about, but she becomes more narrow-minded and critical of herself as she tries to fit in with Frank's upper-class friends. As Rita becomes more and more independent, Frank becomes more and more emotionally attached to her. He is greatly upset when he finds out she didn't tell him about her change of job, and he gets jealous when she comes back from summer school having learnt things that he didn't teach her. He eventually convinces himself that Rita can't bear to be around him any more: Frank: You can hardly bear to spend a moment here can you? Frank is angry and upset when he realises that he is no longer Rita's only influence. She is educated and worldly now; she's not 'his' Rita any more. He thinks that in her eyes he has reverted to being simply her tutor. But in the end, deep down they are still friends. Frank gave Rita what she went to him for - the freedom to be able to make choices. 1, 287 words Graded A ...read more.

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