An exploration through a variety of texts that deal with ‘aspects of growing up and transitions into new phrases of an individual’s life’. Connection to: Into the World
* Rita moves from an ‘uneducated’ working class life to a tertiary educated life. * It is this transition with its positives and negatives that is to be focused upon. Positives of Transition
* Discovery & Enlightenment: Rita discovers a new world far removed from her ‘restrictive’ world as a wife and hairdresser. * Freedom & Choice: Rita desires to be able to choose her future not have it forced upon her through her inability to have choice. To her this is the basis of her move to escape her entrapment. * Opportunity: Rita hopes that her new life will present opportunities that her existing life has failed to deliver – education, travel, culture * Relationships: Rita meets new and interesting people. People she aspires to become - Frank, Tiger (students), Trish Negatives of Transition
* Disconnection with the past: Rita sacrifices the relationship with her family. Her marriage breaks down and she is left to pursue her transition alone. * Overcoming Adversity: Rita must overcome set backs, her own short comings and ability to make it into her new world. Rita’s character, Frank , Denny and Trish are examples of the casualties along the way. * The unknown (Grass is always Greener on the other side): Rita desire to become a different person is at times not well thought out. Does she gain more than she risks during this transition? Does she finally get what she so desires in the end?
There is a great gap between Rita’s ‘working class’ vocabulary and Frank’s ‘educated class’ vocabulary. This is seen both in the spoken and written word. It is especially highlighted when Rita discusses the place or swearing and vulgarity within the classes. •
Language is used to show how different the two worlds are, how far Rita must go in her transition to arrive in her new world. •
Language may also give insight into the positive and negatives of this transition. Rita returns believing she is a different/better person because she can ‘talk posh’ like Trish. 2. Symbolism:
Symbolic of the distance between the two worlds and how difficult it may be for Rita to move into a new world. The ease at which Rita finally moves through Frank’s door allows the audience to measure Rita transition. Finally she stops coming at all. •
Like the door its characteristics give insight into Rita’s transition. Initially it too is closed and little gets in or out. Finally the window is open it accepts the outside world into the office and allows them to journey out into the world. •
The Bookcase (and the bottles):
Perhaps the most important symbol. It hides the truth of Rita’s transition. Is the world she so desires to go to so perfect? 3. Structure:
Educating Rita has two acts.
There is a shift between the happenings of act 1 and those of act 2. Rita has changed so much. She has moved into her new world and we measure how successful and fruitful the transition has been? Educating Rita has only two characters in one room. The changes in setting within the room are quite evident and purposeful. The changes in the characters are equally as important and observable. 4. Texts:
It is interesting to study briefly the texts mentioned within the play and at what stage of the play they are mentioned. Russell has carefully chosen texts that mirror the themes and the position of the relationships at various times in the play
Rubyfruit Jungle: Rita Mae Brown
Howards End: E M Forster
Sons & Lovers: D H Lawrence
A Stone for Danny Fisher: Harold Robbins
Of Human Bondage: Somerset Maugham
Macbeth: William Shakespeare
Peer Gynt: Henrik Ibsen
Cherry Orchard: Anton Chekhov
Songs of Innocence & Experience:...
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