An exploration through a variety of texts that deal with ‘aspects of growing up and transitions into new phrases of an individual’s life’.
This question in the HSC is usually a common question that invites the student to apply their text and individual other related material to the question. As such it is much easier to plan, organise and prepare a response. Students MUST remember that the question/task will be about ‘Into the World’, not Educating Rita!
Any response requires indepth discussion of ‘the transition from one world to another’, with detailed commentary from text and 2 other related texts of the students choosing. Any good response will focus not only on what is said about this transition, but the techniques used by the authors/composers to create meaning and image for the audience/responder. Be careful not to respond using the movie version.
Working class northern England
Focuses on female character
The play centres on empowerment through education
Two acts separated by change
Two-character drama centred in one room
Into the World
Rita moves from an ‘uneducated’ working class life to a tertiary educated life. It is this transition with its positives and negatives that is to be focused upon.
Positives of Transition
Discovery & Enlightenment:
Rita discovers a new world far removed from her ‘restrictive’ world as a wife and hairdresser. Freedom & Choice:
Rita desires to be able to choose her future not have it forced upon her through her inability to have choice. To her this is the basis of her move to escape her entrapment. Opportunity:
Rita hopes that her new life will present opportunities that her existing life has failed to deliver – education, travel, culture Relationships:
Rita meets new and interesting people. People she aspires to become - Frank, Tiger (students), Trish
Negatives of Transition
Disconnection with the past:
Rita sacrifices the relationship with her family. Her marriage breaks down and she is left to pursue her transition alone.
Rita must overcome set backs, her own short comings and ability to make it into her new world. Rita’s character, Frank , Denny and Trish are examples of the casualties along the way. The unknown (Grass is always Greener on the other side):
Rita desire to become a different person is at times not well thought out. Does she gain more than she risks during this transition? Does she finally get what she so desires in the end?
There is a great gap between Rita’s ‘working class’ vocabulary and Frank’s ‘educated class’ vocabulary. This is seen both in the spoken and written word. It is especially highlighted when Rita discusses the place or swearing and vulgarity within the classes. Language is used to show how different the two worlds are, how far Rita must go in her transition to arrive in her new world. Language may also give insight into the positive and negatives of this transition. Rita returns believing she is a different/better person because she can ‘talk posh’ like Trish.
Symbolic of the distance between the two worlds and how difficult it may be for Rita to move into a new world. The ease at which Rita finally moves through Frank’s door allows the audience to measure Rita transition. Finally she stops coming at all. The Window:
Like the door its characteristics give insight into Rita’s transition. Initially it too is closed and little gets in or out. Finally the window is open it accepts the outside world into the office and allows them to journey out into the world. The Bookcase (and the bottles):
Perhaps the most important symbol. It hides the truth of Rita’s transition. Is the world she so desires to go to so perfect?
Educating Rita has two acts.
There is a shift between the happenings of act 1 and those of act 2. Rita has changed so much. She has...
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