Educating Rita general overview. Russell depicts the initial struggles that people who have not had a private school start to the education system. He uses both stagecraft and dialogue to present the changes that a person such as he and Rita can face.

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Educating Rita Coursework

Liverpool, in the 1980’s was hit by a financial low point; with high rates of unemployment and thousands fleeing the city for better job and life prospects elsewhere. This coupled with rising tuition fees for universities, made it harder for people in the city to try and better themselves, especially the younger generation. Open universities as opposed to the traditional redbrick’s, offered a cheap course – that you could study in your free time, mostly from home but still get a degree at the end of studying. They did not discriminate class or grades, meaning that anyone can access the courses they have to offer, without taking the traditional route of an A-level. Assisting people to Strive towards a better career and future. The playwright, Willy Russell seems to be a part of this generation in Liverpool, wanting to get ahead but with financial times being hard, he felt the push. He was a hairdresser, and with one O-level he saw that with the financial crisis of the time, it would be hard to make ends meet, whilst he was still cutting hair. Whereas, if he took an Open University course, that did not care about his difficult start to life – he would be able to get his degree and hopefully better himself. Russell also saw, that in his traditional city, that women were not given the opportunities and equal rights, that most women in society have access to today. This is put across in his work, as feminism is something that is meaningful to him. His roots moulded his being, and therefore you see that he shows the concerns of the working classes that might not be seen or highlighted, in a political system populated with Oxbridge graduates, and British society that looks up to upper class figures such as the Royal Family.  As this is deeply portrayed throughout the play, it is a semi-autobiographical play, concerning the difficulties that Willy faced, through the eyes of Rita, a liverpudlian woman, from a working class upbringing in the same profession as Russell, a hairdresser.

Russell depicts the initial struggles that people who have not had a private school start to the education system. He uses both stagecraft and dialogue to present the changes that a person such as he and Rita can face. Rita starts off the play with an outsiders view to education.  The stage notes show Rita, standing at the door, hesitating to enter this new path she faces. Stage notes, show that Rita is finding to enter Frank’s room difficult. She cannot open the door, the door being a metaphor for the leap from her normal life, to her start on the course – that she feels like she doesn’t have the upper hand in. “Further, more insistent knocking at the door.” And later, “I am comin’ in, aren’t I? It’s stupid that bleeding handle on the door. Y’ wanna get it fixed!” This is a mental barrier, preventing Rita from entering the room, or her education that is set to follow. She is already making excuses, either for her apparent limited education or the fact that she is going to have to at some point leave her life behind her. “It’s stupid that bleeding handle on the door.”  She already knew before she signed up for her course, that she was unhappy with her present life, which possibly the recession made her realise, or seeing the people in her society that did not seem to be affected by the cut backs and hard times.

Russell writes in Rita’s first meeting with the audience, “Y’ wanna get it fixed!” Placing the blame for her hesitance to enter her education, towards the audience, who could be viewed as the people who are already on the correct side of the door. Therefore, by placing the blame not on her not being able to open the door, that people other people have been able to open, she is blaming it on the people she has come to for her help with her degree. The exclamation mark proves this point also, by showing annoyance in Rita’s voice when she said it. This could also be Russell showing the audience how nervous Rita is to start her journey.

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We start to see Rita, blossoming and developing throughout the play. Her development and determination is key to the plot. In act I, scene II we start to see a Rita, that doesn’t have the hesitation to start to learn. We see from the stage notes, that Rita is late. “he glances at his watch” “He glances at his watch once more.” Although initially we are made to believe, that Rita who may be upset from arguing with Frank, her University tutor; or found her experience too startling for her. But, then we see that not only has Rita ...

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