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To what Extent is it possible to appreciate Educating Rita without understanding the literary references?

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Introduction

To what Extent is it possible to appreciate Educating Rita without understanding the literary references? The book educating Rita is about a girl called Rita who wants to become educated, so she decides to go to an Open University. Her tutor's name is Frank, they both have two very different personalities and this is revealed throughout the book, Frank is more of an up tight person wiles Rita is the kind of girl that says what she thinks even if it would hurt people's feelings. A perfect example of that is that she calls Frank 'a mad piss artist'. Literary references are the associations relating to other things. During the book Educating Rita, you get many literary references that you might not understand at first, for example in scene 1 when Rita first comes into Franks office she walks over to Franks book case and asks: Rita: What's this like? Frank: Howard's end? Rita: Yeh. It sounds filthy, doesn't it? E.M Foster. Frank: Forster Rita: Oh yeh. What's it like? Frank: Borrow it. Read it. ...read more.

Middle

Virginia? Or Charlotte? Or Jane? Or Emily?' By this he meant that Rita might have changed her name to another famous writer like Jane Austin. But you wouldn't know straight away whom these people. In scene 1 on page 21 Rita makes a joke 'Y' know Frank, Frank ness, Elliot's brother'. And Frank doesn't understand so Rita says 'you've still not got it have y'? Elliot Ness- y' know, the famous Chicago copper who caught Al Capone.' So Frank says 'Ah. When you said Elliot I assumed you meant T.S Eliot' So as you can see this is a clear example of the different ways that they think. Frank thinks that by the Joke Rita meant T.S Eliot a famous writer, but what Rita really meant was Elliot Ness the famous Chicago copper who caught Al Capone on TV. Another example is on page 22, Rita says that she read one of T.S Eliot's poem's 'I tried to read this thing he wrote called 'J. ...read more.

Conclusion

you could tell because of his drinking problem, but when Rita walked into his office and started 'teaching him' about things that 'used to be' important to her, he became happy, he also starts using her words. And Frank gave Rita that gift of being educated, which is what she's always wanted to be. Personally I mostly understand the references that Rita talks about, some of the things that Frank says I don't even understand, but that didn't stop me from not appreciating the story, I really enjoyed reading about that way that Rita changed from being someone that read things like 'Ruby fruit jungle' to someone who reads 'Peer Gynt' and understands it. So as a conclusion I would say that yes, you can appreciate the play 'Educating Rita' without understanding all the literary references, because even if you don't know who T.S Eliot is or E.M Forester you do know that they are famous writers and that they are people who someone like Rita would never of known at the begging of the play. ...read more.

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