Educating Rita Essay

4015 Words Mar 25th, 2013 17 Pages
Educating Rita: Society, Education and Self-Reflection
Usa Padgate *
Educating Rita is a play written by Willy Russell, an English playwright from
Liverpool. It was voted ‘Best Comedy of the Year’ when performed by the
Royal Shakespeare Company in 1980. By 1983 it had risen to be the fourth most popular play on the British stage. In the same year it was transformed into a film and won the BAFTA Best Film Award as well as Academy Award nominations, proving its appeal and popularity on both sides of the Atlantic.
This paper aims at introducing Willy Russell’s work to fresh audience, especially students who are looking for reasons to acquaint themselves with
English literature and teachers whose interests lie in finding
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Nonetheless, he is an experienced, intelligent teacher, and so unconventional that Rita finds him an equal match for her irrepressible desire to study and will not be shaken off by his suggestion that she gets another tutor in his place. And so the tutorials start and continue. In time, Frank proves himself a much better teacher than he thought he was. Rita’s unpretentious enthusiasm revitalises her tutor’s dying passion for what he teaches. However, with Rita’s growing confidence as she becomes ‘educated’, Frank feels ironically more and more insecure. And when Rita acquires for herself other ‘teachers’, i.e. her tutors in the summer school and her classy flatmate Trish, Frank is obviously shaken by her divided devotion. He finds solace in bottles of whisky and gets himself expelled to teaching in Australia after about of quarrelsome drunkenness.
As Rita progresses academically, she loses the naturalness and spontaneity she once possessed. Instead she learns and adopts the necessary things that enable her to ‘talk about things that matter’— calculated and pretentious things that a cynical yet somewhat realistic person like her tutor disdains. Frank witnesses Rita’s transformation in sad abhorrence. In the process of becoming educated, Rita has lost the uniqueness that Frank most admires.

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