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Willy Russell’s Presentation of the Relationship Between Frank and Rita

At the start of the play, Frank and Rita can be seen as opposites;Frank is a middle aged male academic, while Rita is a young, femalehairdresser. Any relationship between the two seems unlikely, but theywarm to each quickly and the audience realises that Frank and Rita arenot quite as different to one another as first appearances show. Theyare both involved in unsatisfactory relationships and want more fromlife than it seems to offer. The main difference between the two isthat, whereas Rita has recognised her unhappiness and is determined tochange it through becoming educated, frank is a pessimist and tends todown his sorrow through drinking. Frank and Rita become good friendsin the play because Rita needs Frank to teach her, and he needs thefreshness and vitality that she brings to his life. Willey Russellpresents Frank and Rita’s relationship, and how it changes, in avariety of ways.

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At the start of the play when Frank and Rita meet, Rita is veryoutgoing and forward. The first thing Rita says to Frank is ‘it’s thatstupid bleedin’ handle on the door. You wanna get it fixed!’ youwouldn’t expect a new student to speak to her tutor like this thefirst time she ever met him. This also shows that Rita doesn’t carewhat his first impressions of her are. She then gets into a deepconversation with him about one of the paintings on his wall. Theconvocation is about how the painting is erotic; you wouldn’t expecttwo people who have just met to be talking about how the paintingturns people on. This point adds to the fact that Rita is very forwarda…

…- and on your lips it’s shrill and hollowand tuneless. Oh, Rita, Ritaaˆ¦’ in this extract he is saying how sheshouldn’t try and be like him he should be herself.

However they both make back up as Frank enters Rita into the examanyway and Rita passes. Yet they realise that they can’t keep theirrelationship together and they must both brake off their own separateways.

In this play I feel both Frank and Rita have learned a lot about life.In fact despite Frank being the teacher and Rita being the student,Frank learnt just as much about life as Rita if not more. Rita learntthat being educated gives you more opportunities for life as she nowhas a choice what she does with her life. Frank learns that he is notas bad at teaching than he thought he was, he also leant that youcannot make anyone be your friend.

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