Educating Rita

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Into the World – Educating Rita

• Educating Rita 1991 Director by Willy Russell

• EDUCATION = CHOICE

• Explores of a variety of texts that deal with aspects of growing up and transitioning into new phases of an individual’s life. ( Growth and change occurs

CONTRAST:

• Male/ Female

• Educated class/ Working Class

• Disillusioned/ Cynical/ Enthusiastic

• Elite “Howards End” E.M. Forster/ Mass culture “Ruby Fruit Jungle” Rita Mae Brown

CONFLICT:

• Is the basis of drama ( between characters ( inner conflict

• Conflict between Rita and Frank ( the fluctuation in powerful forces that drive the decisions that they characters make

• Conflict between Rita and her family ( Husbands negative attitude to education, he has expectations for is wife – to have children. Rita’s mother seems to be supportive “Because-because we could sing better songs than those.”

• Inner conflict - There is dramatic interest or tension created because of Rita’s emotional responses. She has to question if her want of an education can overcome her class expectation and her family. “I’m a freak...I’m a half-caste” – the metaphor for freak and half-caste highlights the inner conflict Rita experiences, this changes over time during her transition.

• “I dunno. I might go to France. I might go to me mother’s. I might even have a baby. I dunno. I’ll make a decision. I’ll chose. I dunno.”

CHARACTERISATION:

• Rita

o Attractive woman who breezes into an open university as a “breath of fresh air”

o Changed her name upon meeting Frank to Rita from Susan because she believed it made her sound smarter, appear better.

o Comes from Liverpool, occupation hair dresser, is 26 years old

o Didn’t get a good education, didn’t pay much attention when at high school – got caught up with boys and shopping

o She is different to the ‘normal’, where she comes from - she got married and now is expected to have a baby.

o She is keen, enthusiastic and excited about starting uni although still feels are inferior to the other students at the university

o Lacks confidence to stand up to people and this is shown when she backs out from going to the dinner party at frank’s house because “she has nothing to wear” and then decides to go to the pub.

o As the play continues the relationship between Frank and Rita helps her to “find herself” and Rita helps Frank with his life, and negatively, by being different and changing.

o As Rita changes from her ‘normal’ class she faces many challenges and obstacles. This is because nobody likes to break away.

o Her husband Denny doesn’t want her to study. He wants her to have a baby. This is shown by the dramatic event of Denny burning Rita’s school books.

o She lacks confidence, doesn’t want to be made fun of.

o Doesn’t have a choice – wants REAL choice in life

o She has a hungry mind, curious – realises she doesn’t know much. Wants to achieve in life

o Rita is direct and complete lack of pretension (pretend)

o Both characters have the fatal attraction of opposites

• Frank

o Early 50’s. Used to write poetry about his wife (no longer together) and him feeling in love.

o He is a lecturer at the university

o Julia is his girlfriend- she is an ex-student ( which he doesn’t treat well, she admirers him, cooks ratatouille. He often goes to the pub rather than straight home after work.

o He is a disillusioned, cynical, critical of self and his life, well-educated ( total opposite to Rita, witty, well spoken ( can play around with words

o Written poetry ( doesn’t know pop culture E.g. Ruby Fruit Jungle

o No enthusiasm, miserable

o Drinks a lot ( alcoholic ( has many hidden bottles of whisky...
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