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Why do you think Willy Russell chose a duologue form for “Educating Rita”?

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Introduction

Why do you think Willy Russell chose a duologue form for "Educating Rita"? By Anna MacDonald Willy Russell wrote "Educating Rita" as a duologue. We presume that it was first published in 1980 and that it was first performed in 1980 at the Warehouse Theatre in London. The attitudes towards women were drastically changing when "Educating Rita" was being both written and performed. Many women during the 70's were beginning to feel frustrated that their main roles in life were those of housewife and mother. They were starting to realise that they deserved the same rights as men in all aspects of life and many marches and protests were held to promote these rights. In 1970 the Equal Pay Act became law and then the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act helped further to protect women from discrimination. Still, women weren't seen as equals. Yes, they were in theory, but in reality and in society things were just as they always had been. This was just the sort of attitude that Denny had (Rita's husband) although he is never seen in the play itself, the audience are always aware of his attitude towards Rita's education. He believes that she should stay at home and have children and become the traditional women, pictured by so many people. Yet, it is seen right from the beginning that Rita doesn't want this, and wants more and better things from life. The fact that in the end she leaves Denny shows that she has freedom to do what she wants, more, at least, than women prior to her, and especially womens new found freedom with the advent of the birth control pill. The 1970's were the days of 11+ exams and those who passed them went to Grammar school, but the majority of the public went to secondary modern schools where they completed their education at the age of fifteen, and very few would ever go onto A-levels or any further kind of education. ...read more.

Middle

It sounds filthy, doesn't it?" Rita, although very forward, is also very unsure of herself. In the way that she doesn't know whether she'll be able to cope with the course, and she might have to "pack it in". Rita continually wants to learn, and to be on a higher level, she wants to be able to understand, and interact with others. This impression comes from her all the time, and when she talks about the ballet and the opera, she wants to be able to understand it and not just watch it, because then she has no appreciation for it. Rita is always testing Frank, to see how far she can go with him: "Y, don't mind me swearin', do y'?" But Frank doesn't mind, because he is so laid back. In one of the speeches that Rita gives, the audience find out just how much, she wants to be free from the working class: "But sometimes I hate them. God, what's it like to be free?" At this point, Rita gets up and walks to the window in Franks room, this is yet another example of how widely spread the use of the set is. Even for simple movements it's continually used and makes the play that much more interesting. Frank, weighs Rita up and finds her a very lively and interesting student. Rita always feels that she has better things to do, than start the lesson; she starts to talk about the room, and tries to avoid her education. They both have the same attitude in that they are both incredibly laid back and relaxed, and open with each other. There's a sort of rapport between them, although there characters are totally different in one way, in another they are the same, because they both want to find comfort. The very fact that Rita has changed her name from Susan is ironic, as she has changed it to make herself sound more intellectual after the writer Rita Mae Brown, however, the writer is no novelist. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rita chose to take the exam, and passed it, she now has a choice of what to do with the rest of her life, whereas before she was trapped and now she has everything ahead of her. The first scene and the last scene contrast enormously. Her language has changed immensely throughout the course of the play, but, in this final scene there is a definite change, as she doesn't swear, and has a much wider use of vocabulary, she also understands everything that Frank says, which is a lot more than in the first scene. It's not just Rita that's changed, Frank has to, he cares about things more and he to wants a better life for himself. The film, "Educating Rita", is a very good adaptation of the play. Extra parts are naturally added and it flows very well. Getting to see the other characters is good and helps to explain the play slightly more and to avoid any confusion, which may arise. It would be impossible to have the film in the duologue form as it would not have the same impact as if done on stage. So adding the other characters and places works very well for the film. However, if this was done on the stage, I feel that some of the meaning would be lost and the relationship between Frank and Rita would not be portrayed half as well. In my opinion Willy Russell overcomes all of the difficulties of having a duologue form for the play brilliantly. However, it's not just the script that needs to be immaculate for the audience to like the play. The actors too must be able to bring the full meaning of the play across, and that includes the humour, the swearing, the language and the great contrast between Frank and Rita. The great use of the set is exceptional, and this is all helped with the fantastic stage directions. Willy Russell scripted the play brilliantly, and the duologue form added to the affect. The audience are always there and involved, and never bored. Anna MacDonald Page 1 ...read more.

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