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What impression of Rita does Willy Russell create in Act One, Scene One? How does this character develop through the play?

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Introduction

What impression of Rita does Willy Russell create in Act One, Scene One? How does this character develop through the play? Plan 1st part of question - what impression of Rita does Willy Russell create in Act One, Scene One? From Rita's entrance: * confident, brash, loud * seems like a stereotypical Liverpudlian at first glance * but not stupid - witty/insightful comments ('degrees for dishwashers') * however we see she has had little formal education, doesn't know some basics - but she still has pride, doesn't like being made fun of (tells Frank "Don't laugh at me") * overconfidence compensating for nervousness (admits she 'always asks loads of questions when she's nervous') * SD - reflects this - barges through the door at first, complaining about the state of the doorhandle -overconfidence- (role-reversal) - however pacing, examining things around the room (window, bookcase, picture) shows underlying nervousness - nervous actions - pacing, smoking, swearing, questioning Frank (inquisitive, nosy) * we see relationship with Frank getting off to a flying start - R. and F. are chatty, and make jokes with each other * but towards the end of scene, we see Frank's insecurities - Rita very eager to learn (shows intelligence) ...read more.

Middle

He then gives her some of his poetry to write a criticism on; impression that this is a 'test' to see just how much she has changed. What impression of Rita does Willy Russell create in Act One, Scene One? How does this character develop throughout the play? The first scene in Educating Rita is, arguably, the most essential to the play. It is the scene that has to captivate the audience's attention, so that they want to see what will happen in later scenes. It is also (perhaps most importantly) the one that gives us our first insights on the main - indeed the only - characters we see; that is, Rita and Frank, and shapes our perceptions of them throughout the rest of the story. These characters must seem believable and also attention-grabbing - so that we want to see what will happen to them later on. Therefore, it is in this scene our first impressions of Rita, the title character, are created; and then in later scenes, we see how she develops as a person. 'I'm comin' in, aren't I? ...read more.

Conclusion

This gives us an insight into how their friendship is based on mutual understanding that goes beyond education and backgrounds, and means that they are still friends at the end of the play. Frank is struck by Rita's enthusiastic, honest attitude, and describes her as "the first breath of fresh air in this room for years". Despite this understanding, Frank still treats Rita with perhaps less respect than she deserves. He learns to appreciate her more later on - but in the earlier scenes is still amazed by her lack of knowledge. He perhaps does not realise this - and his slightly patronising attitude may be due to a subconscious knowledge of the class divide between them. When Rita asks, quite suddenly, what assonance is (a basic technique), Frank laughs, perhaps before he has thought about it. We see that Rita, although aware of her deficiency in factual knowledge, is still proud - "Don't laugh at me". The difference in class - although not providing much of a barrier for Rita and Frank in most cases - is nevertheless evident as they talk about different issues. There are more of those misunderstandings that Russell uses to create comedy in the situation - "you're a Flora man" etc etc ...read more.

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