The Effect of Summer School on Rita in Educating Rita by Willy Russell
'Of course; you don't do Blake without doing innocence and experience,
When Frank explains to Rita that after summer school they will study
William Blake, Rita says that she has already studied Blake and
implies in such a way that she almost disgraces Frank. Before summer
school Rita has only been taught Frank and has only learnt his ideas,
when she gains her own confidence she then challenges Frank on his
views to do with poetry by telling him about William Blake. This
confidence reflects the effect which summer school ultimately had upon
Willy Russell was born in Whiston, near Liverpool, England, in 1947.
Russell's mum and dad both went out to work while he attended school.
During his schooling he started to acquire his love for books and
later on in life he had written award-winning plays and musicals, one
of the most well known is Educating Rita written in 1983. Other well
known Russell works include Shirley Valentine and Blood Brothers.
Before Rita came to study with Frank, she was a wife and a hairdresser
with no ambition in life. She felt that she needed to be educated and
she knew she was different to people because they had been educated
but when Rita was younger she wasn't bothered about her education and
didn't want to learn. So when Rita is accepted for Open University she
comes to realise that someone is giving her an opportunity to learn
and she grasps it while she can.
'I was dead surprised when they took me. I don't suppose they would
have done if it'd been a proper university. The Open University's
different though, isn't'
The fact that Rita was 'dead surprised' shows us Rita's lack of
confidence at this point in the novel.
After going to Summer School Rita herself has changed because before
summer school she was just a normal student going to Frank to learn
and she felt too ashamed to be outspoken. Now that she has returned
she has learnt that she needs to be more confident in herself and she
now trusts herself more. Rita feels now that she has been educated and
is now able to relate and have meaningful conversations with people.
'I think the first question was about Chekhov; coz y' know I'm dead
familiar with Chekhov now'
Rita's confidence has become more obvious because 'dead surprised' has
now become 'dead familiar' this shows that Rita has now become a
Before Frank had met Rita he was unhappy with his life he was drinking
a lot, bored of lecturing and teaching so he decided he would so some
work with the Open University and of course Rita was his first
'Can I offer you a drink? ... Scotch'
After Rita has been to Summer School, she treats Frank differently.
She has realised that she doesn't just need Frank as a...