Educating Rita Essay

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How does Willy Russell make it clear to the audience in the final scene of ‘Educating Rita’ that Rita has changed since the beginning of the play?

‘Educating Rita’, written by Willy Russell, follows the relationship between Rita, a young Liverpuldian working class hairdresser and Frank, a middle aged University lecturer. One of the main themes in the play has been conveyed: personal relationships. Rita is moulded by her tutor, Frank, and learns a great deal from him, whilst also teaching him in many ways. The play focuses on the way that Rita and Frank influence each other. In this essay I’d like to explain the concept of Change; affecting Rita in both positive and negative ways. I’m also going to show how the influence of education helps to bring about these changes.

Towards the end of the play we can see the major change occurring in Rita. With the quote “I have merely decided to talk properly. As Trish says there is not a lot of point in discussing beautiful literature in an ugly voice” we can see that she has lost her individuality and flare in the fight to become the same as all the other students around her. She tries to talk in a posh way thinking that this would make her middle class.

In contrast to the point I made above let’s look at Rita at the start of the play. Her bright, bold, bubbly character is revealed in the very first scene, as the two characters are introduced. She makes a very dramatic entrance, bursting through the door, swearing, and immediately drawing all attention to her; “It’s that stupid bleedin’ handle on the door.” With the phrase “stupid bleedin’ ” Willy Russell is showing how Rita isn’t really sure how to act, and her insecurity and nerves make her appear in such a loud manner. This shows how little she understands of formal interview situations. Her swearing makes this comment more jaw-dropping and unsettling, especially since this is her first meeting with Frank. The incomplete words show how strong a...
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