At the beginning of the play, Rita is dependent on Frank, although she is not attracted to him. "What do you want to know? Everything." Later on however, she becomes independent, and does not need him to live with. This point in the play divides the love in the story since Rita does not see Frank as often, and seems to care less about him. Throughout the play, Frank has the completely opposite aspect. He doesn't need her at the beginning, only giving her literature lessons, and after a while, feels very attracted to her and will find it extremely hard to keep on living without her. "Rita. Don't go."
In the beginning of the play, both characters start out living with someone else. Rita is married and lives with her husband, and Frank lives with his girlfriend. This is unusual, because a love story never starts this way. In a love story, the couple usually agrees on every point discussed, however not always, or generally shares all of their common interests. These two characters do not share all the same common interests. One loves the drink, the other hates it. "Y' want to be careful with that stuff, it kills y' brain cells."
A perfect example of a love story is "Sleeping Beauty." The two main characters contain all of the characteristics to make a perfect couple. "Romeo and Juliet" is also a very good love story, however ending in a tragedy. In "Educating Rita," the two characters only present a few of these attributes.
The first time that Rita meets Frank, she tells him everything that passes through her mind. She talks about her problems and her future, and tries to learn the most she can about her teacher. Frank respects Rita very much because she tells him everything. He admires her for that quality that he has never seen in any other person. "I think you're marvelous. Do you know, I think you're the first breath of air that's been in this room for years." He loves her freshness, has never met anyone the same as her in his life. He lacks confidence in himself, and therefore tells her to change tutors because he is not good enough to teach her. Frank realizes that Rita is a very pleasant person and she wants to learn a great deal, of which he doesn't think he can teach her. "I'm actually an appalling teacher You want a lot, and I can't give it." However Rita does not want another teacher. She finds it absurd that Frank does not think he's good enough for her, and tries to convince him to continue teaching him. "You are my teacher an' you're gonna bleedin' teach me." The main reason that Rita says this is because she cares about him, and she adores his intellect and knowledge as well. He will continue to help her discover herself, which is what she wanted, and they become very good friends.
Throughout the play, Frank becomes attracted to Rita in diverse ways. He is physically and emotionally attracted to her. He tries to make her realize this, little by little, but Rita does not seem to notice. "What I'd actually like to do is to take you by the hand and run out of this room forever Right now there's a thousand things I'd rather do than teach; most of them with you, young lady " The main reason that Frank does not tell Rita directly that he has feelings for her is because they have become too good friends, and he does not want to risk disrupting their friendship relationship. However Rita is not attracted to Frank. She is much younger than he is, still has choices to her future in her life, and is not seduced by him. "Tch be serious " This point opposes the true love story, in which both characters would fall desperately in love, and the play.
When Rita leaves to school for summer, they both write to each other very often. Frank is glad for her that she is learning so much and making a great deal of progress. When Rita returns, she has changed immensely. She doesn't act as she did before, and seems to know everything Frank was planning to teach her. "Of course; you don't do Blake without doing innocence and experience, do y'?" She no longer tells Frank about her life anymore, which he had liked to know. "Nobody calls me Rita but you."
Frank is not sure that he likes the way Rita changed. When Rita changes jobs and works at a restaurant, she doesn't tell Frank and he seems perplexed because he feels left out. "It struck me that there was a time when you told me everything." She meets students and becomes friends with them, and Frank feels jealous. This shows his affection for her. She is asked to go to Europe with a couple of them, and Frank becomes a bit envious. "You can't go you've got your exams." Once she has returned from her summer school, their relationship does not seem to be as close as it was previously. In a love story, the lovers stay together as much as possible. In this case, the Rita seems to have a liking to meet other new people, and expand her interests.
In view of the fact that Rita has changed, she thinks that Frank should change too. For example when she sees that he still drinks, she tells him that he should stop, and it would help him. She tries to act for the best of everyone. This shows that she shows affection for Frank because she only wants what is best for him. "If you could stop pouring that junk down your throat in the hope that it'll make you feel like a poet you might be able to talk about things that matter instead of where I do or don't work " Since she has attended the school, she has learned a great deal of life and about herself. Frank shows a large amount of fondness for Rita as well. Rita has a very important exam that is soon to take place. Frank does his best to prepare her so that she will pass the exams.
Even though Willy Russel was trying to create a love story, he did not succeed completely. There was never real love between Frank and Rita. At the end of the play, when Frank leaves for Australia, he asks Rita if she will accompany him, hoping that she will. "The thing is, why don't you come as well?" Rita responds with a negative answer. "Tigers asked me to go down to France with his mob Me mother's invited me to her's for Christmas I might even have a baby. I dunno." Now that she has learned a great deal of what she wanted to know, she has much more choices to life. Frank was given a year off in Australia, because he got drunk too often. Rita is still young and does not need to go with Frank. It is not clear what she will do in her future, although she could have gone on the trip to Europe with her fellow students, or anything else. In a love story, the couple generally live together happily ever after, however this ending is completely different.
Willy Russel has only partly accomplished the task of creating a love story in "Educating Rita," because the two characters have so many differences. It is not a true love story, especially not a romantic fiction, because the play is missing many characteristics of a love tale.