Educating Rita

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The topic “Into the world” is about movement. The movement of one or more people from their comfort zone, their surroundings and possibly their entire old lives, in the pursuit of a new and better life, or improved life.

The set text Educating Rita by Willy Russell and my related text the film Billy Elliot by Daltry show how the individual can grow, this can be a complex process leading to growth and change through new experiences. The concept “Into the world” is highlighted through a variety of techniques which show understanding.

Educating Rita by Willy Russell is a play about the individual developing through education. Education is seen as a process that gives the individual the ability and confidence to take their place in the world. Rita’s journey starts when she meets Frank, her teacher, Frank is a professor who is an alcoholic, Frank is trapped in a deadly cycle where he has to work to pay for his drinks, and he drinks because of work.

Rita’s journey into the world begins when she decides she needs an education. Initially Rita has the qualities of a working class background and was brought up to believe education “was for the wimps”. Rita was led to believe that she was born to become a wife and mother- nothing more. “I’m 26. I should have a baby by now” Rita’s lack of education is made apparent by Russell through the character’s verbose and course dialogue.

“I take the piss because I’m not y’ know confident like, but I wanna be honest”. Rita’s desire “to know the difference between Jane Austen and Tracy Austen” allows her to embark on her journey into the world of becoming educated.

The divisions between the worlds of Frank and Rita are constantly displayed through the way in which each character acts, and how they talk. While Frank speaks fluently in proper English and has a knowledgeable air about him when it comes to subjects such as language and poetry, Rita speaks with a regional accent and very limited in her knowledge, mistaking...
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