Analyzing Alan Bennett 's ' The History Boys ' And ' Educating Rita

2327 WordsNov 10, 201410 Pages
In this essay I will be analysing how Alan Bennett’s ‘The History Boys’ and ‘Educating Rita’ by Willy Russell investigate the notion that ‘all knowledge is precious whether or not it serves the slightest human use’ along with how they explore the purpose of education. Educating Rita is about the journey of Rita, a twenty-six year old working class woman from Liverpool, entering the world of formal education through an Open University course or as she refers to it as a ‘degree for dishwashers’. Rita’s peers disapprove of formal education. Despite this, she has a desire to learn ‘everything’ even though this could lead to rejection from her family and community. She is simply learning for the pleasure of education and with the hope that this education will allow her to enter a wider world. The History boys is a journey of a group of Northern working and middle class grammar school boys, who are aspiring to get into - Oxbridge on scholarships, with the aid of two contrasting teachers, one who believes that education is solely for the purpose of grades and another who teaches ‘gobbets of information’ for the purpose of personal gain. Educating Rita begins with the female protagonist Rita having difficulty entering her professor Frank’s office, ‘I’m comin’ in, aren’t I? It’s that stupid bleedin’ handle on the door. You wanna get it fixed!’ she exclaims. This is a metaphor for the barrier between her current status as a poorly educated working class woman and the educated and
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