Educating Rita: A Comprehensive Analysis

This essay sample essay on Educating Rita Essay offers an extensive list of facts and arguments related to it. The essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion are provided below.

Was this the start of a new life for a man who was not happy with his place in society? As Rita a working class hairdresser who is provoked by her sense of incompleteness, steps into Frank’s life. These are the two vital characters of ‘Educating Rita’ written by Willy Russell who tries to explore and portray the issues of too completely different yet similar classes, the classes being working and middle class.

Educating Rita’ a play written in the 1970’s, you will also notice that this play is a two-hander, although this play is on based on the foundation of only two characters many others characters are mentioned and play a crucial role in forming the plot of this play. In this assignment I will be examining the ways in which Willy Russell tries to change the path of two characters.

Also I will be analysing the ways in which the two characters have an influence on each other’s metamorphosis as the play proceeds.

Before one can actually consider the way in which Frank is presented, or any of the characters one must take into account the languages used by both Rita and Frank. Although they speak the same language there are parts when Rita’s slang is unknown to Frank this shows the great difference between the two cultures.

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Frank is shown as a middle-aged alcoholic; one could have jumped to the conclusion that Frank would not be in this state if he did not have any previous personal problems. Frank is also shown as an easily frustrated man for example:

When Was Educating Rita Written

The opening in Act 1, Scene 1 Frank is found in his room on a telephone call, this phone call is used very cleverly to give us our initial impressions of Frank and his personality; “… Of course I’m still here. … Because I’ve got this Open University women coming haven’t I? This telephone call shows how easily frustrated Frank can become at the slightest of words, Also the telephone call gives backup to the idea that Frank is a bit of an alcoholic. “What do u mean am I determined to go to the pub? I don’t need determination to get me into the pub… ” “I’m comin’ in, aren’t I?

It’s that stupid bleedin’ handle on the door. You wanna get it fixed! ” This is Rita’s first introduction into the play; one could consider she is presented as an undeveloped character. She is portrayed as a common working class lady. Her first line in the displays her ability to tell someone who she’s never met that they should get their handle fixed. The way that Rita enters and starts a conversation one could say that it seem that Rita and Frank have known each other for a long time. “‘Howard’s End’? ” – Frank “Yeh. It sounds filthy, doesn’t it? E. M. Foster. ” – Rita Forster – Frank

This line shows Rita’s lack of education the way in which she miss pronounced Forster with Foster. Act 1 also shows the differences in the tastes of the two different classes for example Frank is unaware of television programmes that Rita’s says, Rita recognizes this and concludes that Frank being in his class would only watch BBC. Also in this scene Rita tells Frank how she has the name Rita. “That’s ‘S’ for Susan. It’s me real name. I’ve changed it to Rita though. … y’ know after Rita Mae Brown” – Rita “Who? ” – Frank “Y’ know, Rita Mae Brown who wrote ‘Rubyfruit Jungle’? ” – Rita

This shows the vast cultural gap between Rita and Frank how most of the literature Frank has read Rita has never heard of and the same with Rita knowledge of literature. One could also describe Rita as a lady whom is driven by her sense of incompleteness. In similarity with Frank Rita is also not happy with her position in society. She also tells Frank about how she feels about having a baby. “I’m twenty six. I should have had a baby by now; everyone expects it. I’m sure me husband thinks I’m sterile. He was moanin’ all the time y’know, ‘come off the pill, let’s have a baby’.

I told him I’d come off it, just to shut him up. But I’m still on it. See I don’t want a baby yet… I wanna discover my self first” This shows her determination to succeed and become apart of class she dreamt of being in, she also states later that she wants to make her own decisions. One could consider that Rita is autobiographical character of Willy Russell as he was also a hairdresser, who had too become a student to accomplish his ambition. Rita has started Open University and is already finding it hard to read books and understand literary criticism. “I can’t do it.

Honest, I just can’t understand what he’s on about. ” Act 4 Scene 1 immediately shows Rita’s disbelief in her self. She tries to explain to Frank how she can’t not understand Forster. Then Frank moves on to her ‘Peer Gynt’ essay. “‘Suggest how you would resolve the staging difficulties inherent in a production of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt’ you have written, quote, ‘Do it on the radio’, unquote” – Frank “Precisely” – Rita “Well? ” – Frank “Well what? ” – Rita This small part in the play shows us how nai? ve Rita is to think that one line is sufficient to hand in as an essay.

Later Frank tells her how her essay is inadequate and how she will not succeed in passing her exam. Act 1 Scene 8 begins as Rita’s enters franks room with a suitcase she was leaving her husband and moving into her mums house, one, her leaving Denny meant that she could study without worry. “It’s worthless! You said. An’ if it’s worthless you’ve got to tell me because I wanna write essays like those on there” In this quote Rita is referring to her Macbeth essay Frank has just told her it is ‘worthless’. Rita also explains how she wants to change and write essays like a ‘proper student’.

But Frank is also depicted as unsure of whether he wants to change Rita, he think she has already got something ‘valuable’. Rita is also starting to understand literary criticism. Act 2 Scene 1 for many is the turning point in Willy Russell’s play. This scene shows the newly reformed Rita as she returns from summer school and has undergone her full metamorphosis, becoming her dream of an ‘proper student’. The first thing we notice is her change of clothing. Here Rita explains to Frank how she over came her fear of asking questions, “Honest to God, I stood up, an’ every one was lookin’ at me”

Rita’s new self is shown by these main changes: * She has packed in smoking * Her new found dress sense * Her taste in a flat mate * Her new voice she tries to use under the influence of Trish Cleary as the play proceeds Frank feels more like he has lost the old Rita the ‘breath of fresh air’ that had swept his room when he first met Rita, he starts to get more depressed then he was before he met Rita, he is now regularly drunk as he attends lectures, also in these lecture he quotes things that the old Rita said to him for example ‘assonance – means getting the rhyme wrong’.

Frank also starts to recognise that Rita is distancing from him. The Frankenstein image gives a good example of how Frank is feeling about his Rita. “I shall change my name; from now on I shall insist upon being known as Mary, Mary Shelley – do you understand that allusion, Rita? ” – Frank “What? ” – Rita “She wrote a little gothic number called Frankenstein” – Frank Here Frank is referring to his Rita, he is trying to state the new Rita that he feels he has created is a monster just as Dr. Frankenstein creates a monster in Mary Shelley’s novel.

Rita on the other is very found of her new self she tells Frank how she knows what wines to buy and what clothes to wear hand how she doesn’t need Frank any more. “I’m educated now……… I have got what you have……… I don’t need you” After hearing this Frank asks ‘is that all you wanted? ‘ she tells him how her new self means every thing to her. Frank tries to explain to her how she has not found a better song to sing but merely ‘another song to sing’. Act 2 Scene 7 is like the summary of the whole play.

Rita finally tells him how she made the decision and chose herself, Frank also I think recognises Rita’s achievement and give her a dress it is a dress he had bought for an educated women the dress is given to her to symbolise her new beginning. In conclusion I think this was very well written. Willy Russell manages to capture every part of Rita’s metamorphosis in great detail. The play gives a very good, account of Rita’s will and determination to transform in to ‘proper student’ overall, the play is very good.

The fact that the play is a two – hander is very effective throughout the play. I think the play could have been improved by making it slightly longer. In contrast with the film I would prefer the play itself as the film contains too may characters ruining the effectiveness’ of the two-hander approach. A theatre production may have been a good idea, but compared to nowadays humour I think it lacked in humour although many may say it was full of humour and it won many comedy awards in its time.

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Educating Rita: A Comprehensive Analysis. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Educating Rita: A Comprehensive Analysis
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