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Trace the metamorphosis of Rita from an unfulfilled hairdresser to an educated woman.

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Introduction

Educating Rita > Trace the metamorphosis of Rita from an unfulfilled hairdresser to an educated woman Throughout the play by Willy Russel, we see the main character Rita go through a lot of changes and metamorphosis from an unfulfilled hairdresser to a confident, educated woman. We see her go from one extreme to the other until she finally finds a middle ground where she is comfortable at. In this part of my essay I will be explaining how she got there. The first time Rita is mentioned is by her tutor, Frank, who says in a conversation that he thinks she will just be, "some silly woman's attempt to get into the mind of Henry James or whoever it is we're supposed to study on this course." This gives us the impression that Rita will have no potential and not take the course seriously. In scene one Rita proves this more and more by the way she acts and it seems that her dreams of becoming an educated woman will never come about. Everything is against her and she is not a typical student. To start with her use of language is the complete opposite to Franks and her bad grammar and Liverpudlian accent combined sometimes make it hard for Frank to comprehend what she means. Rita speaks colloquially and also uses a lot of obscene, rude language. This shows how different she is compared to Frank who we rarely see using vulgar language because he has a varied vocabulary, which means he can choose what and how he says things whereas Rita cannot at this stage. Rita has been brought up in a completely different environment and so her knowledge is very limited, an example of this is when she thinks that assonance is "getting' the rhyme wrong". She also believes herself to be well read and thinks that she knows real literature. ...read more.

Middle

Another small detail which she has changed is the fact that she no longer smokes, believing that it makes her more middle class by doing so. She has also changed her name back to Susan because she doesn't need to hide behind Rita any more and can be herself, she also realises that naming herself after Rita Mae Brown wasn't an educated thing to do and changing her name shows how she is now very confident and comfortable with herself. She is also confident enough to mix with other students, even though in Act 1 she always set herself aside from the "proper students" as she didn't think of herself as a real scholar. Now though she talks to them with ease, as an equal. She even enters into discussions with them and wants to have her tutorials down on the grass amongst other people. All of this confirms that she doesn't rely on Frank that much anymore and can stand on her own two feet. We see this for definite in scene 1 when Frank wants to start on the poet Blake, only to discover that Rita studied him on the summer course and can even recite some his work off by heart. Rita has now definitely crossed over from being the unfulfilled hairdresser to this educated woman. In scene 2 she asks how she did in her essay and Frank takes the essay and says that it "wouldn't look out of place with these" and he places it on top of a pile of other essays. This symbolizes that Rita is now in place with the other students and she is no longer behind them and is on the same level as them. In Act 2 Rita seems to go slightly over the top and possibly goes too far and has just gone from one extreme to the other. She has lost her originality and is no longer a "breath of fresh air" as Frank once called her. ...read more.

Conclusion

When she talks about Trish I would have the actress talking in wonder of her like she used to do about Frank. When Frank tells her that he will not go outside to sit on the grass she ought to act disappointed and look longingly out of the window. Also when she realises Frank wants to talk about William Blake I would want her to act really pleased with herself that she already knows him and maybe even slightly bored at the prospect of having to do him all over again in her tutorials. Then at the end when she should say the following line in a know-it-all voice: "Of course; you don't do Blake without doing innocence and experience, do y'." She should do this to show how much she has changed and progressed and so the audience now knows that Rita has become an educated woman but they are starting to dislike this new side to her. In the final scene of the entire play we see Rita at the middle ground she should be at. To show the slight return of the old Rita she should keep the same hair and just add a bit of colourful eye-shadow and wear a bright, cheerful t-shirt and some trainers. She should have her strong accent and dialect back but keep the perfect grammar and include a bit of slang. I would also make her hug Frank to show how she is sorry for the way they argued and make a point that they are friends again. I think she should be very relaxed and maybe stand up and talk with big hand gestures like she used too, to prove that her individuality is back. When Frank presents her with the dress she should blush and be really flattered and possibly put it on and then give Frank his haircut to show that the two are friends again and that Rita has ended her metamorphosis in a positive way. Page 1 of 6 Rachel Loomes 10B ...read more.

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