Changes In Rita And Frank In Education Rita

2242 words - 9 pages

Changes in Rita and Frank in Education Rita

Discuss the ways in which Russell portrays the changes and developments
in the characters of Rita and Frank in Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 2 scene 1

Drama (post 1914)

Discuss the ways in which Russell portrays the changes and
developments in the characters of Rita and Frank in Act 1 Scene 1 and
Act 2 scene 1 of ‘Educating Rita’.

‘Educating Rita’ is a play written by the British author Willy
Russell. It is set in Liverpool around the 1980’s. It explores the
themes of education, poverty and working class life. The play is based
on Rita’s enthusiasm and determination to be educated. Rita undergoes
her course at the Open University. Here she meets her tutor Frank and
it is here their plutonic relationship blossoms. This is what occurs
in Act 1 scene 1. In Act 2 scene 1 the relationship contrasts from
that of the previous act. Although they have this friendly love, Frank
becomes jealous of Rita. This is because when Rita returns from her
summer school she is a new woman. She is more educated, has acquired
new clothes and her accent has changed.

The play is structured in two acts. It has eight scenes in the first
act and seven scenes in the second act. The first scene of act one is
set in Frank’s office at the Open University. There is a large bay
window at the left of his room and a small desk positioned in front of
it. In the centre of the room there is a larger desk covered with
books and papers. The walls are also lined with books. On one wall
hangs a nude religious scene. The way in which the scene is set gives
the reader a first impression that Frank is a disorganised person. Yet
when we see all the books we assume that he is an intelligent person
too.

When the scene opens we see Frank searching for something. At first we
think he is looking for a book because he is recalling the names of
some authors. Then suddenly he remembers the author and pulls out a
book to reveal a bottle of whisky. He pours himself a drink. The drink
is interrupted by a call form his partner Julia. When he is speaking
to her he uses negative and sarcastic language. An example of this is
when he says ‘‘I don’t need determination to get me into a pub’’. This
suggests to us he would rather go to the pub than go home or speak to
Julia. The audience are led to believe that Frank is miserable, rude
and argumentative

We are first introduced to Rita when she knocks on Frank’s door. This
gives Frank an excuse to end his phone call with Julia. Rita bursts
through the door clumsily blaming this on the door handle. Rita sumps
her bag. She seems to be a very inquisitive person because she starts
inspecting the bookcase and notices the nude picture on Frank’s wall.
She moves around the room a lot; this indicates that she is also
nervous. The audience is led to believe that there are two contrasting
characters in the same room. We have Frank the very scholastic,
well-mannered, prim and...

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