How do Rita, Frank and their relationship change in 'Educating Rita' - Willy Russell?

2423 Words Apr 11th, 2006 10 Pages
Rita, Frank and their relationship change throughout the play. Rita's education and confidence both grow as the story progresses. Frank's attitude towards life declines dramatically en route for the middle of the play but there is hint of improvement at the end. Their relationship undergoes many changes during the play. They grow apart, slowly and eventually reach a point where their separation is much needed and inevitable, although their feelings towards each other are of affection once again.

At the beginning of the play Rita is a stereotypical working class girl, with little education and a lot of determination. She uses a lot of slang and colloquial language, 'stupid bleedin'' handle' and 'off me cake', which shows her lack of
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It is hampered by their different frames of reference. At one point Frank thinks Rita is joking about T.S Elliot the poet, when in fact she is referring to Elliot Ness, 'y' know, the famous Chicago copper who caught Al Capone.' At another point Rita is calling Frank a 'Flora man' from the advert for the butter: flora. Frank assumes she means flora as in flowers.

However, Frank and Rita have a mutual understanding of each other, which helps them work through and get beyond their misunderstandings. Their differences intrigue and fascinate one another. This helps keep their relationship alive and fresh.

In the middle of the play we see dramatic changes in Rita. Right at the beginning of 'Act 2' Russell indicates a change by Rita entering wearing 'new second hand clothes.'

Rita is at a very difficult point in her change. She has come so far and cannot go back to where she used to be, but she is finding it difficult to carry on, she is half way and stuck in between two worlds. Rita chooses to persevere.

Rita has much more confidence and is using humour to hide behind less. She is more educated and has been influenced by lots of people over the summer.

Her confidence shows when she tells Frank about summer school. She explains how she asked a question even though everyone was looking at her and 'two thousand people had seen me stand up.' She then goes on to say, 'after that I was askin' questions all week.' Before summer school Rita wouldn't have dared
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