This concept is effectively conveyed through Willy Russell’s ‘Educating Rita’ and related material ‘About a Boy,’ the novel by Nick Hornby and film interpretation starring Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult.
Through Educating Rita, Russell has effectively portrayed both the characters of Rita and Frank forming a relationship which ultimately moves them into the world through different experiences of extensions and limitations on individual freedom. Rita finds herself through getting educated by her tutor Frank who extends her individual freedom by providing her with several beneficial lessons, but at the same time this conflicts with the expectations that her society and especially her partner Denny have of her, which is limiting to her freedom because they are dragging her down. This can be seen through the scene where Rita is explaining to Frank how this obstacle is affecting her study. Denny’s dislike towards Rita attending the tutoring sessions is due to his fear of her being transformed in a way that is foreign to him and his society. “He said either stop coming here and get off the pill or I could get out altogether” is a quote from Rita from this scene who is referring to her husband Denny, who plays the symbolic role of a character from this class of society who doesn’t understand why Rita is doing this and wants her to settle down and have kids, which can be seen through the reference to him wanting her to “get off the pill.”
Another example of Rita’s limitations of her freedom is through Frank’s teaching methods and the confusion she is left with from his regrets, which can be seen through the extract:
Rita - “if it was in an exam what sort of mark would it get?”
Frank – “a good one.”
Rita – “Well that the hell are you saying then?”
Through this Russel is portraying that despite Frank knowing that the essay is well written, he fears that he has taken away Rita’s