Essay about Act One Scene One of Educating Rita

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Act One Scene One of Educating Rita

Read Act 1, Scene 1 and explain whether you think it is an effective way to start the play. Comment on:

How Russell introduces the characters and themes.

How he makes the scene dramatic and entertaining.

Russell uses an effective way to start the play. It is effective because we find out that Frank is alcohol dependent and he is lazy by not getting the door fixed. Russell faces many problems when trying to introduce his play such as showing Franks alcohol dependency, Rita striving for a change, showing relationships between Frank and Rita,
Frank and Julia and Rita and Denny.

A telephone call tells us that Frank has a partner. The telephone tells us that Frank and Julia do not get on
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The misunderstanding between them is the source of much of the humour in the scene.

Rita tries to show that she is aware of art by talking about the painting on the wall, but she does so in very direct terms, which startles Frank such as when Rita says “erotic” and “tits”. Rita further shows her directness by referring to the Open University as
“degrees for dishwashers”.

Russell brings humour into the play before anyone says a word. We think that Frank is looking for a book on the shelves but we soon find out that Franks is actually looking for a bottle of whisky that he has hidden so the student and other teachers cannot see it. He drinks from a mug which indicates to us that Frank’s drinking is secretive and he might be a big drinker.

Rita culture reference is with cop shows such as Elliot Ness, which clashes with Frank’s references, which are to do with the poet
T.S.Elliot. This shows to us that Frank and Rita are from two different worlds, this also creates humour in the play.

Rita asks Frank what assonance means. When Frank gives her an example of assonance, he asks her if she has heard of Yeats the poet but Rita confuses Yeats the poet with Yeats the wine lodge. This shows that they are completely different people. When Frank tells Rita what assonances means, she reacts by saying “oh. It means getting the rhyme wrong”. This is a clever and witty. Later on in the play Frank uses
Rita’s idea of assonance in one of the
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