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Educating Rita 1 Essay

1051 words - 5 pages

‘Educating Rita’ is a play, written by Willy Russell focusing on the life of a twenty six year old woman called Susan White who undergoes an academic journey. Susan is married and currently working as a hairdresser. Susan does not wish to settle for family life as she is keen to pursue an education and therefore applies for an Open University course. Susan’s tutor, Dr Frank Bryant is an unsuccessful middle-aged academic with a drinking problem with little experience in teaching working-class students. The primary surrounding of the play is in the office of a university lecturer and explores the changes in Susan and Dr Frank’s lives following Susan’s entry at the University.
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She thinks Frank’s friends will look down on her because she is not educated. Rita also says “I’m a freak” “I’m a half-caste”, this also tells us she feels she doesn’t fit in.

Once Rita is confident talking to Frank she asks him how she has done in her coursework, Frank tells her it’s not as good as the others, Rita fully expresses herself now she says to Frank if its crap tell me. Rita says “so we dump it in the bin and we start again”
Rita also wants an education because she wants to be able to sing a better song when in the pub, she thinks her mother is dissatisfied with the songs that are being sung. Rita says to Frank “I asked her why you are crying mother” she said “because we can sing better songs than those.” At this point the audience feels sympathy for Rita and her mother.
As the play progresses, we notice a change in Rita’s character. Her confidence increases as she becomes more comfortable when she returns from Summer School. We notice a change in her use of language, as her vocabulary increased, there is little swearing by her character.
Another change in Rita’s character is when she has a new flatmate named Trish. Trish seems to have a strong influence on Rita’s character, this is shown when Rita enters Frank’s office dressed like Trish and she starts to talk like her.
Rita also makes a positive life choice, when she decides to quit smoking. This helps us to understand how education has affected her life. Towards the end of the play Rita is left with a choice, she is offered a job at London; she can go with the students to France or travel with Frank to Australia. This tells us not only has education given her confidence and more knowledge but also a choice. As Rita has changed...

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