Educating Rita (Ritas Character) Essay

1149 words - 5 pages

Educating Rita-IntroductionWilly Russell's play, 'Educating Rita' centers around the development of the main character; Rita, as she goes through on her journey towards becoming a woman of the middle class. Rita, who feels trapped in her current "working class" strives forwards in her life to become "free". She feels by gaining knowledge and an education she would be able to open new pathways into "finding herself" and the "meaning of her life". To do this she takes classes at the Open University with her tutor Frank; whose disillusioned outlook on life drives him to the bottle. The play follows Rita's journey, showing the many decisions, sacrifices and choices she will have to make for her to become a fully independent and "free" women.We first get a glimpse of Rita's bold, bubbly and cheerful character in Act 1, Scene 1 when Rita is shown to be bounding into Frank's office swearing and drawing immediate attention to her self. "I'M comin' in, aren't I? It's that stupid bleedin' handle on the door. You wanna get it fixed!" To Frank, having never met Rita, this could have come across as churlish and disrespectful but in fact we soon discover that Frank likes this in the same way the audience does. Russell uses the door to symbolize a pathway to a new life and a breath of fresh air, which symbolizes new opportunities for Rita. Also, the door handle being broken resembles a pathway that is hard to open because she hasn't got the formal education and academic language to open it. Rita swearing on the other hand, being a university, in most cases this would have been completely unexpected because of the manner of most of the students, most of them being educated and well spoken unlike Rita, who is Liverpudlian and has a strong accent. She also uses many slang words, such as, "off me cake" - inappropriate phrases for the academic situation, suggesting she comes from a poor, uneducated background and has yet to learn the language of academia.Jugging by the discussion about the 'erotic' painting on the wall, Rita is confident talking about more intimate subject such as "tits" with someone who she has only just met and has little knowledge of. "This was probably the pornography of its day, wasen's it?" proves that she is able to make clever and witty points on subjects she knows little about. Just by spotting the painting and commenting on it, shows that she is observant of her surroundings and is not scared of sharing her opinions. We understand that Rita is very self-confident, which she is, but it is clear that she is doubtful in her knowledge and how to express herself in a more articulate manner. When talking about the 'Open University' she refers to joining as a "soft" idea. Meaning, she is unsure whether she should have enrolled at the university or whether it was all a silly unrealistic idea. She feels she is different than the other students, as she has no real previous background in education. She feel like being given a second chance to partake...

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