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Changes in Rita and Frank in Education Rita

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

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Drama (post 1914)

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

‘Educating Rita’ is a play written by the British author WillyRussell. It is set in Liverpool around the 1980’s. It explores thethemes of education, poverty and working class life. The play is basedon Rita’s enthusiasm and determination to be educated. Rita undergoesher course at the Open University. Here she meets her tutor Frank andit is here their plutonic relationship blossoms. This is what occursin Act 1 scene 1. In Act 2 scene 1 the relationship contrasts fromthat of the previous act. Although they have this friendly love, Frankbecomes jealous of Rita. This is because when Rita returns from hersummer school she is a new woman. She is more educated, has acquirednew clothes and her accent has changed.

The play is structured in two acts. It has eight scenes in the firstact and seven scenes in the second act. The first scene of act one isset in Frank’s office at the Open University. There is a large baywindow at the left of his room and a small desk positioned in front ofit. In the centre of the room there is a larger desk covered withbooks and papers. The walls are also lined with books. On one wallhangs a nude religious scene. The way in which the scene is set givesthe reader a first impression that Frank is a disorganised person. Yetwhen we see all the books we assume that he is an intelligent persontoo.

… what she thinkswhen she tells him she is disappointed that he is still drinking afterthe summer. This is different to Act 1 scene 1 when Rita would onlyagree with what Frank would say.

Rita entered the play as a clumsy and uneducated woman and has comethrough to Act 2 scene 1 as an educated and independent woman. WillyRussell has portrayed the changes in Rita by giving her a new outlookon life and a new education. Frank was very intrigued when he firstmet Rita in Act one Scene one, but now he is jealous of the changesthat have occurred during the summer break and brought her into hisoffice in Act 2 Scene 1 as a fresh, self confident woman. WillyRussell has portrayed the changes in Frank in a very clever way.Although he never directly refers to the changes all you have to do islook back and compare the two acts and the changes are obvious.

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