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Changes In Rita And Frank Between Act 1 Scene 6 And Act 2 Scene 3

3430 words - 14 pages

“ If you want to change, y’ have to do it from the inside, don’t y’? Know like im doin” declares Rita in act 1 scene 1. How does the playwright show the changes in Rita, and in her tutor Frank, in two key scenes of the play (1.6 and 2.3)

"Educating Rita" displays the major changes that occur in the main character, an initially narrow minded, outspoken and socially naïve Liverpudlian trapped by her working class life. Rita thinks an increase in intelligence and worldly knowledge will change this, and set her "free". She strives to change classes, and although is different from her working class peers, she still isn't ready to be accepted as middle class. She aims to reach her goal through an Open University course, yet naively thinks knowing what books to read and clothes to wear will allow her to immediately become accepted as part of her chosen social strata. Change is a major part of the play, affecting Rita in both positive and negative ways. It shows how the influence of education helps to bring about these changes, and how eventually Rita is able to overcome and negative problems and settle on a happy balance. Rita is also molded by her tutor, Frank, and learns a great deal from him, whilst also teaching him in many ways.

Rita's bright, bold, bubbly character is revealed in the very first scene, as the two characters are introduced. She makes a very dramatic entrance, bursting through the door, swearing, and immediately drawing all attention to her. She isn't really sure how to act, and her insecurity and nerves make her appear in such a loud manner. This shows how little she understands of formal interview situations- one would expect her to appear fairly meekly, maybe shy, and also very formally, yet she acts cheekily and informally. For example, not only does she ask Frank if she can smoke, but she also gets out her cigarettes before he has had a chance to answer. She even offers him one, trying to ease the tension between herself and Frank, and he returns the warm gesture with the offer of a drink. She is also confused by Frank's formal manner of speaking, showing her social naivety. For instance, when he says, "You are?" she replies, "What am I?" Although she appears very confidently, she is immediately quietened when faced with something she feels she cannot succeed in. She is fairly defeatist towards the course, believing she isn't intelligent enough, and that although she wants to, she wont achieve her dream. She calls the courses, "Degrees for Dishwashers", implying that Open University degrees are not looked upon very highly, and are not thought much of. She is very negative about herself, believing she is not quite good enough. Rita wants to be of a higher status than her friends and family, and assumes the course will bring about this transformation. She is uncomfortable with being working class, as her outlook is more middle class, yet also isn't ready to be considered middle class. She knows that she fits in with...

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