Educating Rita (Ritas Character)

Essay by MADdog1799Junior High, 9th gradeB+, November 2014

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Educating Rita-Introduction

Willy Russell's play, 'Educating Rita' centers around the development of the main character; Rita, as she goes through on her journey towards becoming a woman of the middle class. Rita, who feels trapped in her current "working class" strives forwards in her life to become "free". She feels by gaining knowledge and an education she would be able to open new pathways into "finding herself" and the "meaning of her life". To do this she takes classes at the Open University with her tutor Frank; whose disillusioned outlook on life drives him to the bottle. The play follows Rita's journey, showing the many decisions, sacrifices and choices she will have to make for her to become a fully independent and "free" women.

We first get a glimpse of Rita's bold, bubbly and cheerful character in Act 1, Scene 1 when Rita is shown to be bounding into Frank's office swearing and drawing immediate attention to her self.

"I'M comin' in, aren't I? It's that stupid bleedin' handle on the door. You wanna get it fixed!" To Frank, having never met Rita, this could have come across as churlish and disrespectful but in fact we soon discover that Frank likes this in the same way the audience does. Russell uses the door to symbolize a pathway to a new life and a breath of fresh air, which symbolizes new opportunities for Rita. Also, the door handle being broken resembles a pathway that is hard to open because she hasn't got the formal education and academic language to open it. Rita swearing on the other hand, being a university, in most cases this would have been completely unexpected because of the manner of most of the students, most of them being educated and well spoken unlike...