Educating Rita

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Growing up involves change. Change happens to everyone, physically and mentally and it can happen at any time. As a person grows up they enter another phase of their life and they need to take their place in society. I will be talking about the play educating Rita by Willy Russel and relating it to the movie pretty woman by Garry marshal.

In educating Rita, Rita wants to change. She is being pressured by her husband Denny, to stay the same “he’s blind, he doesn’t want to see”. He’s happy living in the same old suburb watching the same old BBC programs, whereas Rita wants to discover herself. This discovery comes in the form of education. She wants to learn and she chooses frank as her teacher. Frank has problems of his own. He likes to drink and has self esteem issues not wanting to be Rita’s tutor. Russell’s use of humour, as well as literary allusions, help explore both Rita and franks’ personal growth and symbiotic relationships as they move into respective new worlds. Similarly, Vivian and Edward in Garry marshals pretty woman both find themselves on a path to new experiences. The changes all of these characters undergo result in personal growth and a new awareness of the world around them

Rita’s transformation teaches her “better songs to sing”. When we first meet Rita in the play, she struggles to open a door into franks study symbolising her entry into an unknown world. Frank takes on the role of sculptor and helps create a new woman, who does not feel a part of her family’s society: “ive been realising for ages that I was y’know slightly out of step.” Rita feels constricted by her husband Denny and the brand of humour that signifies her class attitudes and beliefs systems. For example, when discussing literature with frank, her ignorance is evident in comments such as: Howards end… sounds filthy, doesn’t it?”

Frank is intrigued by rita’s ebullience and thirst for knowledge as it is in direct contrast to the tedious and seemingly meaningless...
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