How do Rita, Frank and their relationship change in 'Educating Rita' - Willy Russell?

Essay by cheryyyyHigh School, 11th gradeB+, March 2006

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Rita, Frank and their relationship change throughout the play. Rita's education and confidence both grow as the story progresses. Frank's attitude towards life declines dramatically en route for the middle of the play but there is hint of improvement at the end. Their relationship undergoes many changes during the play. They grow apart, slowly and eventually reach a point where their separation is much needed and inevitable, although their feelings towards each other are of affection once again.

At the beginning of the play Rita is a stereotypical working class girl, with little education and a lot of determination. She uses a lot of slang and colloquial language, 'stupid bleedin'' handle' and 'off me cake', which shows her lack of education and her class.

Rita appears ro be a confident girl, but she uses humour to cover up her nerves, 'that's what I do. Y' know when I'm nervous.'

Rita is also a lively, talkative person and very blunt and forthright. She shows this when she 'takes the pencil from Frank and scribbles out the letter 'S'.'

Rita has a particularly determined character. At the start of the play she knows that she wants an improved life, with choices and she knows an education will give her that. So she is making sure she is going to get it, even at the cost of her marriage. When Rita leaves Denny she still wants to learn and discuss her 'Macbeth' essay immediately.

At the beginning of 'Act 2 Scene 2' Rita is seen oiling Frank's door. This shows her determination and that she follows through her word, does what she says she will.

Russell uses stage directions to show Rita's energy, 'the door bursts open and Rita flies in.' The words 'flies' and 'burst' convey bubbly, lively movements...