• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What does Rita gain from her education and what does she lose?

Extracts from this document...


Jack Warder Educating Rita by Willy Russell What does Rita gain from her education and what does she lose? When the heroine of 'Educating Rita' begins her personal crusade to gain an education by pursuing an open university course in English Literature, although she realises it will be hard work, she does not have any idea what she will lose as well as gain when she achieves her goal. There are only two characters in the play, Rita, the student and Frank, her tutor although many other people are important to the play and are referred to frequently. All the action takes place in Frank's study, on the first floor of a typical university building in the north of England. Frank is a lecturer in English Literature, and needs the occasional bottle of whisky to help him cope with his students. He has never taken an Open University student before, and has taken Rita on, against his better judgement, to help pay for his drink. Rita is a totally, uneducated, working class hairdresser, with a Liverpool accent, who is both forthright and funny, although she has a great capacity for self-criticism, and a strong desire to acquire knowledge. She simply wants to know 'everything.' Although Frank has become quite smitten by Rita's fresh approach and original views, his reluctance to teach Rita is made worse by his cynicism and the fact he considers he is "actually an appalling tutor." ...read more.


She would have been seen as "someone who's funny, delightful, charming....." to which she objects. She would have wanted to talk seriously and with confidence to the others. Rita is now at the half way stage in her transformation, and now she is also unable to fit in with her own friends anymore. Rita has written an essay on Macbeth, and although Frank thinks it's worthless from an examiner's point of view, he thinks it's a "totally honest passionate account." That is not good enough for Rita who immediately rips it up. She wants to be on the same level as all the other 'proper' students. Rita wants to discard completely her true identity, and the only thing remaining is her insatiable desire to learn, and she is now getting down to it. Rita's character is changing: she is losing a lot of her individuality and uniqueness, but gaining much in education. After returning from summer school Rita has gained in confidence in her own opinions and abilities. This is the biggest change in her so far. She has experienced life as a student, able to stand up in a lecture and ask questions, able to socialise with like-minded people. Rita is still trying to change Frank. She has bought him a pen as a gift, only to be used for writing poetry. ...read more.


She has no need for Frank anymore, she says, only to take the exam. Perhaps he needs her more than she needs him? Rita passes her English Literature exam with a good grade. She now realises the education she had gained at school had been learned parrot fashion without any thought of questioning. Now simply because she was so eager to learn, she could absorb by undrstanding. What Frank had taught her about Literature gave her choice, the only thing she had not before. Frank asks her to go to Australia with him, but she has not yet made up her mind now she has a real choice. Ultimately Rita has gained what she set out to achieve: An education in much more than how to write about and appreciate English Literature, and is, as she had hoped, the ability to make choices for the future. She is changed in many other ways from the young woman who found her literacy thrills in a Harold Robbins soft-porn novel. She can converse with real students, has in fact gained culture and poise and is well-read. However, as he feared, she has lost some of that initial freshness and originality which so attracted her tutor. Yet the old Rita is still capable of surprising us (and him!) at the end of the play by using former skills in transform his appearance i.e. give him a haircut! ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Educating Rita section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Educating Rita essays

  1. Life is a struggle, sometimes you have to lose something in order to get ...

    realize that they have missed all the other things in their lives that they shouldn't have. According to Richard Rodriguez in the article, "The Achievement of Desire," "A primary reason for my success in the classroom was that I couldn't forget that schooling was changing me and separating me from the life I enjoyed before becoming a student."

  2. What does Educating Rita gain and what does it lose from being a two-handed ...

    There are many characters that are mentioned in the play by Frank and Rita that we don't hear any dialogue from. For example, we hear about Denny, Rita's husband, about Julia, Frank's partner, and about Trish, Rita's flatmate, who attempts to kill herself.

  1. Educating Rita

    Frank is extremely drunk and falls off the rostrum whilst teaching his students. The students aren't happy with him or what he says but he doesn't care and describes them as, "mealy-mouthed pricks." Rita wants to save her tutorial until the following week because Frank is drunk.

  2. Do you think Ritas education is for the better? How does this reflect Russells ...

    Without a determined personality she would not have been able to get an education and I think that is what Willy Russell is trying to show. You needed to be very committed to get past the barrier dividing the two classes and a lot of people, like Rita's friends and family, just didn't have that.

  1. Debate Three : Widening Participation in post Study - Students with Disabilities in Higher ...

    Although, prior to that, limited provision had been made for some students with physical and sensory disabilities, the development of further education was one of the reports three priority areas."

  2. What does "Educating Rita" gain, and what does it lose from being a two-handed ...

    But Frank who is educated takes education for granted by drinking and not really caring about his job much. But Rita on the other hand wouldn't take education for granted. Whereas Rita is determined to work hard and achieve her goals, however Rita's views towards Frank's rooms change as she gains in confidence, it becomes less important to her.

  1. Educating Rita

    Frank sees that from the beginning she is different, she is unique and this is what attracted him to her unlike all the other students and this is what Frank does not want her to become. She also develops in terms of her social life; she is meeting new people

  2. In this essay I am going to show my ideas for staging a production ...

    Rita is a character who goes through a lot of changes in the play and in the same way her clothing does.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work