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"The Son's Veto" and "Educating Rita" are set in very different times. Compare Sophy and Rita, and consider how their actions are governed by social expectations of women in each period.

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Introduction

"The Son's Veto" and "Educating Rita" are set in very different times. Compare Sophy and Rita, and consider how their actions are governed by social expectations of women in each period In the 19th Century, the time in which "the Son's Veto" was set. The rights and social status' of women alter greatly to those in the 20th Century, the time period of "Educating Rita". For Victorian women, their lives were not one of independency, freedom, and the ability to survive on their own. They had to rely greatly on marriage to give them financial support, emotional support, and all round happiness. Sophy is a typical example of this. Having used to be a working class woman, and then marrying someone of a higher class. This was, for the both of them, social suicide. For her husband, he would have to put up with the humiliation of having an illiterate, poorly educated, working class wife. She would not be the kind of wife he could show off to his friends. For her on the other hand, she is to spend the rest of her life trying to be someone that she is not. Trying to be someone her son can be proud of. ...read more.

Middle

Rita seems to think that if she can aspire to be more knowledgeable, more intellectual, and more interesting, then all of her problems would be solved. That people like that live the perfect lives, and that they get everything easily. It isn't until her friend Trisha, her knowledgeable, intellectual, sharp friend Trisha tries to kill herself, that she realises that their lives are not always as admirable as she imagines. All together, despite being very similar in class, Rita and Sophy do not have many similar opportunities. This is definitely because of the times. Society is definitely on Rita's side, whereas everything is going against Sophy. Rita has rights. She has the opportunity to change her life, to make a difference. Rita wants to escape working class, while Sophy is desperate to fit back into it. Society's opinions of single women are far higher in the 20th Century than in the 19th. For example, Rita is able to get a flat, on her own, as a single woman. She is able to share a flat with another woman, a man too if that was what she wanted to do. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is one of the ways in which e learn about her background. In "the son's veto", the vicar and his son speak in Standard English, just like Frank in "Educating Rita". Both Hardy and Russell go into detail about appearances, and the surroundings of the characters. Hardy's short story is more descriptive and he goes into great detail about Sophy's hair. Russell is able to describe the characters and their surroundings through stage directions. We mainly learn about the two characters through their interactions and the way they talk to one another. He has limited the play to having only two characters, but where Hardy selects the important scenes and events, Russell uses offstage characters and events to give us more information about them. For example we hear about how Rita's husband, Denney, burns her books. I prefer the play "educating Rita", and its characters, to "the sons veto". This is because of a few reasons, mainly due to the fact that we get to know the characters better in the play. I also feel that this is because "Educating Rita" is closer to our times. An off-putting factor of "the Son's Veto" is the fact that I felt sorry for Sophy. I pitied her too much, and felt too sympathetic towards her that I didn't really get interested in her character. ...read more.

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