Educating Rita

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade May 2001

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Educating Rita "Educating Rita"� by the playwright Willy Russell is a thought provoking play about the plight of a woman who does not want to face the drudgery of working class living anymore. The play tells of her struggle to become academically educated and her battle to become part of the middle classes. The playwright uses this play to tell of the working classes' attitude towards education and how a opportunity and a bit of determination by them can result in them being better off. The techniques and how the playwright uses them to develop the two characters in "Educating Rita"� are very interesting and varied. At the start of the play Frank is on phone and he gives us the impression that he could do without the "˜silly' open university woman's tutorial because it is just a waste of time. We would maybe expect him to be in control and tell Rita what to do but right away she is bossing him about, complaining the door handle and admiring the slightly rude picture.

This "˜role reversal' is a clever tool the writer uses to get our attention right from the start. The dialogue between the two characters is stimulating and unexpected. Rita is so cheeky and not at all intimidated by her tutor but her outward manner probably disguises the nervousness she feels inside. Frank does not know what's hit him and towards the end of scene 1 he is telling Rita not to come back but she is not going to give in that easily.

The play continues with Frank and Rita the two main characters having an on/off relationship. Rita was not very committed to getting down to serious work to begin with but eventually does reluctantly. Frank is more interested in going...