Rita and Frank's Relationship in Educating Rita
At the start of the play, Rita and Frank's personalities clash because
Rita is an uneducated girl who has the attitude of the working class.
Rita wants to improve herself and her life style. She wants to be in a
position where she has choices, the choice to change her life or to
stay the way she is, Rita calls it "finding herself." However, Frank
on the other hand is a man who has found teaching boring and
uninspiring, he has become disillusioned with his life, Rita is like a
breath of fresh air thrown into his drab, dreary and very bland life.
Rita and Frank have completely different views on life and the ways of
speaking about things. Even their accents are different. They each use
language in a completely different way, Frank will decorate his
sentences with long words, which Rita finds hard to understand, but is
fascinated by it.
Frank seems to find life boring and treats it as if he has done it all
before. Frank has a serious drink problem he uses this to drown out
his mundane life. He is unable to cope with his life and is incapable
of changing it, so he uses alcohol as an emotional crutch to give
support and hide behind.
Frank and Rita are two prime examples of 'the grass is greener on the
other side', each one is on the side that the other wants to be on,
and they are using each other to get to where they want to go.
When Rita first walks in to the office, Frank says, "and you are?"
Rita misunderstands him and replies, "I'm a what?" in response to this
question thinking that Frank was suggesting she was a thing. This
shows Rita's naivety in the use of the English language. Frank was
just asking for her name in a way that is un-familiar to Rita and even
then, they still do not introduce themselves to each other until later
on in the scene.
Rita then starts to look at a nude print and how she describes it is
not typical of someone of her background because she says it is very
erotic. This is her trying to put her view across so she sounds partly
educated but then she says: 'look at those tits this'; is the way that
the people in her estate would describe the picture. The situation is
made worse by Frank's obvious embarrassment at the situation, and
Rita's inability to put her view across clearly and to recognise
Frank's discomfort she persist in her attempts to talk about the nude
Rita seems to think that she is a completely different race when
compared to the other students. But when Frank states that Rita is the
first Open University student that he has taught. Rita turns the joke
on Frank by saying "oh great I end up with a beginner!" to this Frank
reacts as if she said it seriously. This shows his lack of humour.
Frank tries to have a bit of a joke when Rita asks if it is all right