Willy Russell, born in ,grew up in Liverpool, and was originally from a working class background and was expected to work in either the docks or a factory. This has been challenged during this period as an outdated view, and that women were every bit as capable as a man in the workplace. Educating Rita is a play that uses these contrasted views to its own uses and shows a working class woman proving that she can have an education if she is given the chance, and the means to do so. In Act one we see them becoming closer and in Act two we see them pulling apart; this is due to the fact that Rita earns her independence at the end of the play.
I wanted to write a play which would attract, and be as valid for, the Ritas in the audience as well as the Franks. Some of his experiences in early adulthood are reflected in his play Educating Rita. Russell left school after completing only one O-level comprehensive exams taken in the equivalent of grade 10 in English Literature and went on to become a hairdresser.
At age 20 he returned to school and became a teacher. Echoes of all of these experiences, his working-class upbringing, leaving school early, hairdressing and later becoming a teacher, can be seen in Educating Rita, a play he wrote to appeal to people from a wide range of backgrounds. Literary Elements Characters Frank Frank is a middle aged, middle-class English professor who has taken on the extra job of tutoring an Open-University student.
He claims that this is to help pay for the copious amounts of alcohol he drinks throughout the play. He is disillusioned with the university environment, but is so closely identified with academia that he cannot imagine leaving. Frank is obviously charmed by Rita because she represents to him the very opposite of his own mundane, predictable and safe life.
He becomes emotionally dependant on her just as she is, initially, intellectually dependant on him; his dependence on her reflects his need to feel useful and influential when his guidance is no longer needed and Rita ventures out on her own, Frank is cut loose and his drinking spirals out of control.
We can see that Frank is trapped by his class and circumstances and addiction, in some ways, as much as Rita is limited by her circumstances. She applies to study with the Open University; the OU was a very popular correspondence-based school in Britain that did not consider previous academic standing for admission.
This re-naming, along with some of her early comments to Frank, show us that she is painfully uninformed and passionately hungry for knowledge, and eager to reinvent herself. The knowledge she can get from Frank, she feels, will give her access to a world where she will be able to find greater meaning in her life.
Rita begins the play as an interesting character because her persona is very deliberate. She hides her insecurity and her ignorance behind a brash facade of bravado.
Eventually Rita who goes back to being Susan with everyone but Frank becomes successful within the world of academia.
She separates from her husband, quits her job as a hair-dresser, tries to change her accent and makes friends with some of the students on campus.
She feels her transformation is complete — and because she associates Frank with her rough beginnings, she distances herself from him, and largely comes to conform to a somewhat stereotypical version of an academic intellectual.
In the end, after Frank nearly drinks himself out of his University job, Rita returns, having found a balance between the brash, naive person she was and the intellectual she wished to become. Rita finds a future with possibilities, whereas Eliza was still very much trapped by class and gender.
Most scenes begin with Frank working or drinking in his office, and Rita barging in. It is clear that she is a breath of fresh air in his life which seems predictable and staid. The power dynamic between the two characters in the first act remains steady.
Frank possesses the stability and balance that Rita needs to be successful in her aim to get an education. Rita, full of energy and enthusiasm, lacks focus and discipline.
She continuously veers off topic, more interested in expounding on her working class environment and quizzing him about his drinking and personal life than in really focusing on the texts he presents her with.
At the same time she manages to instil in him a certain degree of spontaneity and enthusiasm which we guess has been lacking in his life previously.
She leaves her husband instead, and at this point makes the decision to apply herself fully to the academic world. Act II The opening scenes of this act are short and to the point. She is successful in her attempts to turn herself into an academic.
Ironically, the more successful she is in this world, the less powerful Frank becomes. He is aware that he is going to become less relevant to her as time goes by, but this process is obviously painful for him.
This culminates in scene three, when we find Rita in the office and Frank barges in the door drunk. We learn that Frank has been asked to leave the college. At this point we begin to see that Rita is surviving in the world of academia more successfully than Frank.
While he has had an influence on her, she has also had an influence on him — through her eyes he has seen the superfluous of the world he inhabits. This realization seems to be contributing to his drinking as he makes a few disastrous attempts to let some fresh air into his teaching.
Throughout this section of the play we see Rita rejecting her own previous life and opinions in favour of a more conventionally academic approach to life. Frank and Rita have reversed roles.Frank and Rita's Relationship Essay - Frank and Rita's Relationship At the start of the play, Frank and Rita can be seen as opposites; Frank is a middle aged academic, whilst Rita is a .
‘Educating Rita’, written by Willy Russell, follows the relationship between Rita, a young Liverpuldian working class hairdresser and Frank, a middle aged University lecturer. One of the main themes in the play has been conveyed: personal relationships.
\ Frank and Ritas Changing Relationship. Let us write you a custom essay sample on. Frank and Ritas Changing Relationship.
For Only $/page. ORDER NOW. Russell establishes the relationship between Frank and Rita as one of misunderstanding and confusion.
The first time we see Rita she shocks Frank, Frank is trying to test her and Rita is. ‘Educating Rita’ is a comedy written by the playwright Willy Russell in Exploring The Themes Of Educating Rita English Literature Essay.
Print Reference this. Published: 23rd and speech between the characters is easily seen and understood by the audience and it is the differences that make Rita and Frank's relationship very. Frank and Rita have a classic mentor/mentee relationship at the beginning of the text; after all, the play is based on Pygmalion.
Frank gets to mold and shape Rita in his image, and Rita gets to leave behind the constraints of her working class past through his tutelage.
Frank and Rita's Relationship Essay - Frank and Rita's Relationship At the start of the play, Frank and Rita can be seen as opposites; Frank is a middle aged academic, whilst Rita is a young, female hairdresser. Any friendship between the two seems unlikely, but they quickly warm to one another as first appearances show.