Essay Changes in Rita's Character throughout Educating Rita

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Changes in Rita's Character throughout Educating Rita

With reference to the social context of the play, discuss the ways in which Willy Russell shows the changes in Rita’s character throughout
Educating Rita.

In the play Educating Rita by Willy Russell there are two main characters, Rita and Frank. Rita is a twenty six year old uneducated hairdresser. She wants a better life for herself; she wants to have an education. She didn’t get a full education at school as she says,
‘See, if I’d started takin’ school seriously, I would have had to become different from me mates, an’ that’s not allowed.” This shows
Rita felt she could never take education seriously because it was for the ‘wimps’ and she didn’t want to be different to
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She likes his way of life, the upper class friends, the fact that he has a room full of books, a common accent etc.

At the beginning of the play we can see Rita does not understand a simple question as Frank asks her, “You are?” He is inquiring about who she is. Rita replies, “What am I?” We can see she clearly does not understand the question. Also at the beginning of the play she makes conversation with Frank about a picture she notices in the room. She asks Frank about his thoughts on the picture, and says what she herself thinks of it. This shows she has a lot to say.

Frank and Rita contrast very well. Once they know each other well they share intimate details about each other’s personal lives. Frank talks briefly about his relationship with his girlfriend Julia, and
Rita talks about her relationship with her husband Denny. Rita is indeed a person who has a lot to say and Frank listens and responds to her. He likes that when she speaks her mind, it comes to her naturally, he thinks that this is refreshing rather then just being trained to know what to say.

When we first see Rita she appears talkative, clumsy and she swears a lot. Rita, at the beginning of the play wants to escape from her own working culture and background. She wants an education; she thinks this will give her a more fulfilling life. Rita wants to change, she
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