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Educating Rita by Willy Russell Argumentative

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This scene demonstrates several important decisions that Rita must make to change her future. Having momentarily been tempted to go back to her old ways, Rita resists and finds her self trapped between two classes in society making her now more than ever determined to change. This scene also shows how Rita makes herself cope when important relationships in her life come under strain. Rita, as assumed for her class and upbringing, failed to pay attention during her time at school.

She refers to her school life as: ‘ Just normal,’ and ‘ Boring. ‘ Many of the influences of her friends and family determined her future, making Rita’s choices and opinions sculpted by society, and the people she grew up with. She talks about how she would have been seen as a ‘ wimp ‘ for wanting to study and learn. When Rita speaks to Frank about her youth and school life, she is constantly displaying to us her need to please the people around her: Doing as was expected, choosing the ‘ Real qualities ‘ in life.

Through out the play and verified in this particular scene, is the gradual relationship break down between Rita and her husband Denny: Rita is not given the support she deserves and needs form her husband. He is completely against her decision to ‘ find ‘ herself. Denny is determined to stick to the traditions of family life; He feels that Rita’s place is being at home and with a baby. Never does he accept her choices, or even consider them. These major differences that Rita and Denny are discovering in each other are just one of the factors leading the their relationship to break down.

In this scene the actress playing Rita would have to display through facial expression and body language Rita’s emotions, which in this scene are very nervous and uncomfortable. Also having her present her self by being extremely fidgety, opportunities for this would be Rita unpacking her equiptment and organizing it moving objects around, sharpening pencils. Showing her self to be incredibly apprehensive and her obvious loss of confidence. The actress playing Rita should also present her emotions through her tone of voice and the way in which she speaks, very quick and uneasy, messy and stuttering.

The actor playing Frank should come across very stern and sharp when speaking. Purposely being awkward and angry. All his actions should be quick, loud and sharp. Frank stays controlled through out and this should be displayed through his body language. This scene when acted out on stage focuses enormously on the feelings of both characters, therefore this must be achieved by both actors. When Frank invites Rita for dinner, Rita arrives but cannot bring her self to go into Franks home. Frank is dumbfounded and cannot understand as to why Rita couldn’t bring herself to join the dinner party.

All Rita states when confronted about her absence is ‘ I bought the wrong sort of wine. ‘ When of course as an audience we know that although her excuse is not a lie it is also not the entire truth. Rita is trying to avoid the reality of why she really didn’t turn up. Her real reason was because when she arrived and saw the guests through the window she feels that she doesn’t fit in to their class, and that she will be laughed at and will not understand their conversation and way of life.

Rita feels like a misfit and looses all her confidence because she is insecure about her appearance, knowledge and lifestyle. She feels she needs to change for he own wellbeing. Frank is angry and disappointed with Rita’s absence, but most of all he is baffled for he does not understand how she could possibly feel intimidated and a misfit, for he would never purposely make her feel this way, she was his guest and he wanted her there. He feels that she would have contributed her ‘ funny ‘ and ‘ charming ‘ qualities.

Frank is so stubborn it takes him a while to really listen and understand Ritas feelings. This scene shows how Frank and Denny connect awfully well with the old Rita before she changes herself and her life. This factor shows that they have a tremendous amount in common, Denny doesn’t accept Rita wanting to change and he doesn’t support her resulting in their relationship to end. Where as Frank although he is fonder of the old Rita, and it also takes him longer but he does eventually accept and support Rita even though he doesn’t agree with her choices in the end.

Rita at this part of the scene feels shut out of both Franks class and her own working class, after feeling intimidated and unconfident when arriving at Franks house Rita goes home and joins her friends and family at their local pub were everyone is signing and laughing, however she feels even more out of place with them she states that she is ‘ half-cast ‘. Her mother says a very powerful line at this point: ‘ we can sing better songs than these. ‘ This is when Rita makes her choice whether to fit back in with her working class society she was raised in, or to carry on with her education and become the middle class woman she longs to be.

Rita chooses to ‘ sing a better song ‘ and continue in her pursuit for a better life. This scene shows Ritas determination and how serious she is about changing. It shows how even under pressure and presented with the perfect opportunity to ‘ pack it in ‘ she resists and accepts the difficulties that lie ahead. At the end of his scene Frank and Rita both develop a better understanding of one another, which brings them closer together. This scene is the key that unlocks the rest of the play with the choices Rita makes.

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