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What has Rita learned by the end of the play? Explain how Willy Russell presents her development into the woman who 'had achoice' and 'did the exam' - Educating Rita

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Introduction

What has Rita learned by the end of the play? Explain how Willy Russell presents her development into the woman who 'had a choice' and 'did the exam' Educating Rita a modern issue about a woman who is on a quest for a more fulfilling life. She strives for an education and has a thirst for learning. She joins the Open University and is accompanied through her education by her tutor named Frank. At the beginning of the play Rita was a loudmouthed hairdresser who wasn't afraid to say what she thought. Rita seems to be a very direct person; this is shown when she goes to her first meeting with Frank. Rita forces the jammed door open and hangs up her coat before introducing herself. 'Stupid bleedin' handle on the door. You wanna get it fixed!' This shows Rita is quite outspoken. The stubborn door represents the struggle she is going through to gain knowledge and be fulfilled with her life as she thinks all educated people lead better ones than her. By the end of the play Rita has gained a lot of knowledge, she hasn't just met her educational needs but has learnt that personal fulfilment cannot be solely met by education. ...read more.

Middle

The language and culture in Willy Russell's 'Educating Rita' is very diverse and shows the comparisons between Frank's cultural background and Rita's working class background. The differences between the two cultures are picked up in Act 1 Scene 1, little factors such as Frank watches BBC television and Rita watches ITV. Another comparison is when Rita asked Frank about a painting on the wall of his room which he has never noticed that much. Rita classed the picture as 'pornography', 'men only'. Whereas Frank would see it as 'very beautiful'. Not only does this show the cultural differences between the two but also the intellectual gap. I think Act 1 Scene 1 focused on their differences to establish the total diversity of the two characters, this progresses to the gap gradually closing as Rita's development continues. As Rita gains more knowledge and intelligence the vocabulary changes, her use of slang and non-standard English has decreased significantly when talking about books. The structure of the play is set out in a very basic way but with strong effect. The play has two acts and separated scenes to show how the acts are developed. Act 1 and Act 2 show us different "Rita's". ...read more.

Conclusion

This allows the audience to concentrate more on Rita's development and the relationship between her and Frank. At first the study was a safe haven but later it became a place where she wanted to move away from. This was a sign of her increasing independence. The window that she looked out of had a symbolic meaning; she used to look through it at the 'proper students' but then moves out into their world, the world that she wanted to be a part of. The stage directions in 'Educating Rita' are very detailed and provide information, which the dialogue cannot. Some of the stage directions help to show Rita's feelings during her tutoring with Frank. One example of this is in Act 1 Scene 7, once Rita has sat down she starts fussing over her stationary and sharpening pencils, this not only shows her anxiety but also her nervousness because she backed out of having dinner with Frank and his more "cultural" friends as she felt inferior to them. These instructions gradually decrease showing Rita's development as she gets less anxious and fits more comfortably in Franks world. In the beginning of the play Rita was full of enthusiasm and a thirst for learning but at the end learnt that having an education didn't solve all of her problems. ...read more.

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