Educating Rita- to What Extent Do You Agree That Educating Rita Is a Feminist Play?

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Post-1914 play
Educating Rita- To what extent do you agree that Educating Rita is a feminist play?

The play ‘Educating Rita’ is set in Liverpool during the 1970s, with only two main characters: Rita White and Frank. Rita, a vibrant and bubbly twenty-six year old, uneducated, working class woman enrols at the Open University, her real name is Susan, but she changed it to Rita in honour of Rita Mae Brown, a junk novelist. Frank, however, is an educated, middle class man with a drinking problem, and is intending to tutor Rita at the Open University and help her study literature, although when the course first starts he doesn’t want to teach at the Open University (OU).

Before enrolling at the Open University Rita feels her life is passing her by, she says she lives her life day by day, that she feels restricted and unable to make her own choices. “God what’s it like to be free?” she says to Frank in Act one Scene one. Rita believes by bettering herself she will have more choice, but she want to change herself she just thinks she thinks it will make her happier after improving her education; Rita doesn’t have a proper education as she says “If I’d started takin’ school seriously, I would have had to become different from me mates, an’ that’s not allowed.” This shows Rita could never have taken her education seriously. As she didn’t have the confidence to stand up to her friends and achieve an education, as she lacks knowledge she also lacks a proper vocabulary and abbreviates words like “y” and “D’y” Rita also shows that she is not very well educated as she swears in Frank’s classroom. Rita is a ladies’ hairdresser and during the 1970s this would have been a typical woman’s job, but Rita hates it, she hates all the gossiping only does the job properly when she can be bothered. She says that her clients “get on me nerves”. Furthermore, Rita doesn’t want to become a housewife, like her mother and other women in her neighbourhood she thinks that the other...
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