How Does Willy Russell Portray The Changing Relationship Between Rita And Frank In "Educating Rita"?

1212 words - 5 pages

"Educating Rita" is a play dealing with class boundaries and the issues surrounding it, set in 1980s. In those times, class was much more important than it is now. Not many people attended universities and those who did were mainly upper class citizens. However, this play tells us the story of a young woman named Rita who challenges this system. She aspires to attend university to get a higher education, defying her working class background. Rita is a working class hairdresser who enrols at the Open University English Literature Course and decides to get herself an education. She enters the study and world of Frank, an alcoholic, disillusioned professor and poet who's sick of his work, his ...view middle of the document...

In scene 2, Rita demands to know more about Frank's personal life. Frank is reluctant to talk about it but does tell Rita the reason why he and his wife split up. In this scene, Frank confides in Rita and shows that he has low self esteem and not much confidence. Frank says 'it's myself I'm not too fond of'. However, Rita replies saying, 'y' can say dead clever things like that, can't y'? I wish I could talk like that'. Rita admires and looks up to him and wants to talk like him. In scene 3, she also calls Frank 'Y' dirty sod' and Frank replies with 'true, true'. This shows they are more familiar with each other as he doesn't take offence. Rita also argues with Frank about the books and makes suggestions. She challenges him and their relationship becomes more equal.By Scene 3 and 4, the stage directions show that Rita goes straight to her chair by the desk. She is much more settled and focused as she used to wander around a lot before doing any work. She also comes into the room without greeting Frank but start as though finishing their last conversation. 'I can't do it. Honest, I just can't understand what he's on about.' By this stage, she is much more at ease with Frank. Frank also seems at ease with Rita. In this scene, the stage directions show that he acts more casually with her- 'perches on the corner of the desk.' Also, Rita gives Frank back some of his confidence and self esteem. He also stops drinking and focuses more on teaching his students.In scene 8, Rita confides in Frank about her personal life. She talks about her husband and going on the pill which is very personal and not really discussed in a teacher pupil relationship. In the next scene, Rita starts changing. She buys new clothes and starts talking proper English- the way she thinks the way educated people speak. Frank doesn't approve of her changing personality and gets a bit uneasy. He prefers the old Rita. Rita doesn't need Frank to 'hold her hand as much' as before. He doesn't like this as he isn't needed anymore. Her views also change about the book Rubyfruit Jungle. The opinions are reversed now as Frank starts to like it but Rita thinks that its rubbish and not suitable for educated people.In Act 2 scene 4, Frank shows emotion and...

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