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GCSE: Educating Rita
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He does not seem to know how to tell this to Rita for fear of hurting her feelings. As a teacher, he should have the ability to constructively criticise her essay writing skills, for her overall benefit. Frank integrates his social and pupil-student relations too closely. Act One, Scene Six is an example of this; Frank invites Rita to his house for dinner. Frank contradicts himself when it comes to the matter of independent learning. He encourages Rita to go to the theatre.
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Her unease and apprehension is demonstrated when she declines Franks invitation to his dinner party, as she will feel incongruent and inadequate in these surroundings. She not only lacks but also admires the self confidence possessed by Frank's regular students, and feels a strong sense of social inferiority, provoked by her failure at school where we are told studying was 'just for wimps.' However, by the end of the play, these feelings have almost been dismissed, and, she realises the truth about those whom she previously aspired to be.
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To what extent is "Educating Rita" a play about being trapped? You may refer to the text and film in your answer.
In 1970 he trained as a teacher. "Educating Rita" is one of the books he has written. "Educating Rita" is a play about a woman called Rita who goes to the Open University to get an education. The play is mainly based on her meetings with Frank, her tutor. This play has many issues involved; one of which is the theme of being trapped. I ill explore it though the characters, themes and dramatic techniques used. There are tow main characters in this play. There is Rita who is a working class woman who is married to a man called Denny.
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collect a gold star" We also learn that Rita teaches Frank how to teach assonance. "I've never really looked at it like that. But yes yes you could say it means getting the rhyme wrong" In this scene we find out many things about Rita's character, she experts in things she does, she can construct an argument and she can recommend books. We also find out that Rita believes in changing the inside not the outside. "...They wanna be changed. But if y' wanna change y' have to do it from the inside don't y'?"
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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
Once Rita ha acquired an education she dropped the pretentious world that she lived in, realizing that Frank, to whom she previously looked up to was an insatiable alcoholic. Rita realized that Frank and Trish's world wasn't anything like she imagined. 'It's like Trish, I thought she was so cool an' together', ' she'd tried to top herself'. Willy Russell has shown her development by Rita changing her preconceived ideas about the educated. In Rita's past she talked of how peer pressure forced her to be like everyone else and although she had the choice of fulfilling her education, she chose not to in case of not fitting in with the group.
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Re-read Act 1 scenes 6 and 7 of 'Educating Rita.' How does Willy Russell suggest that these scenes are important stages in Rita's development?
Frank's fondness for Rita continues to grow over time and he warms to her and her witty, individualistic nature. However Rita's quest to further her knowledge is troubled by her husband Denny's disagreement with what she is doing. Yet this simply fuels Rita's ambition more and leaves her hungry for success. Rita is more passionate about gaining the qualification than ever when she goes to see a production of 'Macbeth,' so much so, in fact, that she even buys the book.
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For example, when Rita starts to use the correct form of speech for talking about literature and uses a higher standard of English. You can see this in Act I, Scene 4 when Frank and Rita were talking about her "Peer Gynt" essay where her response was "Do it on the radio." Frank could not believe what she had written as her entire essay, and in her defense Rita says, "I didn't have much time this week, so I sort of, y'know, encapsulated all me ideas in one line."
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How do the principal characters change as the play proceeds? In what ways does their relationship change - Willy Russel
Before one can actually consider the way in which Frank is presented, or any of the characters one must take into account the languages used by both Rita and Frank. Although they speak the same language there are parts when Rita's slang is unknown to Frank this shows the great difference between the two cultures. Frank is shown as a middle-aged alcoholic; one could have jumped to the conclusion that Frank would not be in this state if he did not have any previous personal problems.
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Eventually, Malachy goes but he never sends any money home. The McCourts are kicked out of their home and have to move in with Angela's cousin Laman. Angela begins sleeping with Laman, which made Frank uncomfortable and angry. When Frank is working as a messenger boy he begins a sexual relationship with a customer, Theresa Carmody, who eventually dies of consumption. Frank is devastated. Frank saves enough money to go to New York. On his first night there, he goes to a party and sleeps with an American woman.
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The desk will have a desk lamp, and a computer monitor, printer and mouse. The desk will have draws underneath, in which there will be stationery and a bottle of whisky. The main computer will be kept under the desk, so that it is not in the way. I will put a comfortable, black leather, executive chair behind his desk to show that he is middle class, because leather chairs are not usually associated with lower classes. This and the other props on Frank's desk should press home to the audience that Frank is a middle class university tutor.
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Willy Russell explores themes of education, relationships and social standing in his play "Educating Rita".
In act one scene one Russell tries to establish each characters individual personalities. He does this by introducing the characters to us separately and in different ways. Frank is on the phone at the beginning and we soon learn that he is not happy in his work and enjoys alcohol in unhealthy amounts. "Yes I probably shall go to the pub afterwards, I shall need to go to the pub afterwards..." When Rita makes her entrance we instantly see a bright and breezy if not a little clumsy 26-year-old working class liverpudlian She has trouble with the door but is not at all embarrassed by the situation.
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Frank: Rita why didn't you become what you call a proper student? Rita: you know, boring, ripped-up books, broken glass everywhere, knives and fights and that was just in the staffroom. Nah, they tried their best I suppose, but studying was just for the whimps, wasn't it? See, if I'd started taking school seriously I would have had to become different from me mates and that's not allowed. In reflected, Rita has come to realise how the law expectations surrounding her and her working class culture held her back from her real potential.
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Frank in consuming alcohol to such an extent that he was very drunk, in my view, negates any defence that he may have for driving on the wrong side of the road. However, I would like to ask at this stage what very drunk means i.e.: had he consumed alcohol to the extent that his ability to drive was impaired within the requirements of the law or had he consumed alcohol within the requirement of the law and was not used to such.
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When she reaches the stage where she can read novels and understand them, Rita becomes much more independent. She goes to summer school where she begins to change who she is. She does this by amending her accent, transforming her style, getting a better job as a waitress and changing her name to Susan. Although these changes broaden her variety of friends, 'Susan' eventually realises that education isn't about changing who you are and pretending to be someone your not, so she changes her name back to Rita and no longer remains Frank's responsibility.
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Describe the Process of Rita's Education. What effect does becoming educated have on Rita and those who are close to her.
Another excellent illustration of this is how Rita explains to Frank that women walk into her hairdressers and expect to walk out a different person; Rita understands that "if you want to chance y'have to do it from the inside." Rita low self esteem makes it hard for Rita to listen to constructive criticism which in turn makes learning a lengthened process. We often see this when she refuses to listen to criticism from Frank. She avoids the comments by constantly changing the subject.
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" Honest to god he doesn't half get on my tits". Frank has a reply, which if he had three more seconds to think what he was saying he wouldn't of said it; the reply was an automatic reaction, and that quote was "Good. You must show me the evidence". I have an example of dry humour, they are both engaged in conversation about students, and Frank starts off by saying. "Reading and Studying? What do you think they are, human proper students don't read and study". Frank carries on to say it was a joke.
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In the play you even change jobs, from a hairdresser where you talk about "irrelevant rubbish" to a waitress in a Bistro where you talk about things you think are more important like "literary criticism." Your personality in the play is significant, the audience must see the changes in you between the beginning and end of the play. In the beginning of the play you should be open with Frank, you like to tell him about your life and what you do.
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Rita asks, "What sort of mark would it get?" and Frank replies "a good one". Towards the end of the play, Rita has not only learned about literature, she has also learned about life. She has gained self- confidence. She tells Frank "I have a roomful of book, I know what wine to buy, what plays to see, what papers and books to read". She has outgrown, her previous way of life. Rita came from a working class background. She is a hairdresser.
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How successful do you think the film of Educating Rita was as an interpretation of the script, particularly in representing setting and character?
The setting in the play is very straightforward. Just the one room, one scene, Frank's study. The room is lined with selves full of books, with the odd bottle of whisky concealed behind large spined books, the large bay window over-looking the lawn and the real students, Frank's desk placed neatly in-front of the widow, a second desk with Everest sized piles of papers and books. The room symbolises Frank's personality and traditional academic life. The setting varies greatly in the film with various scenes and themes .eg.
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Analyze the dramatic development of Rita’s character. How has she changed by the end of the play?
This is the need to question him in order to not just exist, but to start living again. Rita starts out as somebody who is very insecure and uses her whit and her quick tongue to hide her inhibitions and unhappiness. As the play develops you begin to understand her make-up and how the lifestyle she see's around her leads her to want more. In scene 1 when she is in the office, she finds it hard to sit still. She is eager and excited to learn. Her eyes are everywhere trying take upon the culture that she yearns to be a part of.
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In this scene they are in a quiet family scene with a wife, husband and child. It's relaxed, there sitting still and not drinking alcohol. Danny (the husband) is immediately set apart, he is first shown reading a novel, which indicates that he is intelligent, sensitive and quiet. Danny is different and doesn't want to go to the pub but his wife encourages him to do so, he agrees and they go to the pub. All the other men are presented as members of a group. Whereas Danny is a loner, he described as considerate " if you want to go out, we'll go out" he responds to the needs of his wife Susan.
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They had to continue with school the best they could, then leave at sixteen and apply for any job they could do. In those days the two main schooling systems were the Secondary modern, or Grammar schools. Rita would most likely have gone to the secondary modern. This was, in basic terms, a school where all (majority) of children who failed their 11+ attended. Most of the children in these schools attended only because they had to, so most of the teachers attempted to teach them only the bare necessities.
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Frank is also unhappy with his existence. He has everything Rita wants from life but wishes he didn't. He turns to drink to make living in the culture he hates more bearable. He doesn't want Rita to experience the same thing, which is why he doesn't want to teach her. He doesn't want to be the one to take away her simple, down-to-earth way of life and replace it with the kind of life he has. Before Frank has even met Rita, he seems to look down on her: Frank: I've got this Open University woman coming, haven't I...I shall need to go to the pub afterwards,
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been realizin' for ages that I was, y' know, slightly out of step...See, I wanna discover myself...I wanted a better way of livin' me life.' Her wanting to change is ironically similar to her current job, as a hairdresser, where her customers 'wanna walk out a different person.' Whereas Rita knows that 'if you want to change y' have to do it from the inside.' And she's trying to do just that through an education. Rita's mission to discover herself is obscured by her desire to move social class.
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It doesn't half cause a fuss." "God, I've had enough of this. It's borin', that's what it is, bloody borin'. This Forster, honest to God he doesn't half get on my tits." I wrote earlier about the expectations of a woman her age, which is get married, have a baby, and get a job. Rita is a hairdresser, which is a job, not a career. Women are not expected to get a career, I'm not even sure that the men are meant to get one either.
- Word count: 1256