Educating Rita Essay

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Educating Rita

The title of the play ‘Educating Rita’ refers to a woman called Rita who decides to enrol on a literature course at an open university.

Rita is a working class, 26-year-old hairdresser. She has a husband called Denny who disapproves of Rita’s decision of enrolling on a course at the Open University, as he is worried she is going to turn into a different, more educated woman.

The play is set in the 1980’s. Which means that because Rita is working class she has to break away from the restrictions, which are imposed, on her by her husband Denny and the community she lives in.

In act 1 scene 1 the stage directions are about 1 and a half pages long and they give us a clue to the
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One of the obvious differences is that Frank is middle class and Rita is working class. Willy Russell makes this difference clear to us by the words and phrases he uses. For example “ D’y’ get a lot like me” “Pardon”.

Rita thinks ‘proper students’ are better than her because they go to university full time. She thinks that they spend all there time reading and studying. She doesn’t class herself as a ‘proper student’ because she doesn’t go to university full time, she thinks she is the total opposite to what she classes as a ‘proper student’. Frank tries to tell Rita that a ‘proper student’ isn’t how she imagines them.

We get the impression that Rita didn’t go to a very good school and she says she would always dream about going to boarding school. “I told me mother once she said I was off me cake”. This tells us that Rita’s mum didn’t take her very seriously. Rita tells Frank about the school she went to and she thinks that it was normal to have knives and fights in the playground. Even though were not told we suspect that Franks schooldays were the same because when Rita tells him about her schooldays he doesn’t sound shocked.

Rita and frank both have different approaches to essay writing. “I didn’t have much time this week so I sort of y’know encapsulated all me ideas in one line” “But its not enough”

These two

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