Willy Russel – Educating Rita
- Pages: 4
- Word count: 837
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In this essay I will write about: the effects of character and action; dramatic devices and structures; language, ideas and themes; ands social, economic and historical content. These will all assist me to see more clearly whether or not education gives a person choice. To me, education is a window of opportunity, which equips me to achieve the best I possibly can. It is there to provide me with crucial information, which is like a torch to help me through the tunnel of life. Likewise, in the play ‘Educating Rita’ the author uses the character of Rita in many ways to portray the view that education gives a person a choice.
Although Rita knows that knowledge and wisdom is extremely important, it means a lot more to her. It is about what she wants to achieve for herself, and how much she is willing to sacrifice. The way in which she converts from the uneducated Rita to the educated Susan is a struggle for her. The obstacles that have been placed in her way may sometimes knock her down, nevertheless we do not judge her on that, we judge her on how she gets up again and powers on. Through the course of the book she has a determination to become her own person and be in control of her own life she sees education as a guide in which to speak, act and be.
However most of all, it enables her to break free from a stereotypical society; in which most women were expected to stay at home, have children and look after the family. She believes that education can help her overcome her one giant hurdle to assist her on reaching her destination. Before we first meet Rita we learn that she is a woman, “I’ve got this Open University woman coming,” The conversation is between Frank and Julia on the phone. Straight away we know from this quote that she is female, and that she is coming to learn in a university for all types of people, from different walks of life.
Her coming to the university shows the thirst for her wanting to learn, since it is purely optional it can be seen that she wants to be educated. The author makes Rita a woman because; in those days it would have been harder for a woman than a man to go to university. This enhances the determination theory, showing the extra difficulty for Rita. Also before we meet her we discover that she is studying an English course, “Some silly woman’s attempts to get into the mind of Henry James,” Henry James is a famous writer, so this indicates that she is coming for English.
I believe Russell does this because; Studying and managing a higher education English course takes a lot of organization, discipline, and willpower. This again enhances the determination factor and it makes the reader aware that she is serious. In the beginning of the play Rita believes she is stupid, and has a lack of confidence, “It’ll probably have a job findin’ my brain,” This is one of the reasons why she came for the course, to find herself.
As the story develops, she becomes more educated, and her self-confidence increases, and no longer thinks of herself as stupid. What d’ y’ think I am, thick? ” At this point towards the end she is very knowledgeable. “Don’t y’ like me now that the little girl’s grown up,” She now knows herself and exactly where she stands. As Rita begins to write her essays she finds them difficult, “its borin’. ” This implies that it is challenging for her, because she is not used to them. However as Frank builds her up, and trains her how to attack an essay she eventually starts to get to grips with it, “In attempting to resolve the staging difficulties in a production … e would have done it. ”
Education has permitted her to be able to understand and complete this. Willy has done this to show her personal progress, and even more plainly, show the reader how education gives her a choice. In the beginning of the play we learn that Rita has changed her name from Susan to Rita “” She has done this because she believes As the play progresses Rita gains the ability to speak Standard English, as appose to colloquial speech, “D’ y’ need the money? ” Which modifies to, “I have merely decided to talk properly.
She has been educated to know how to do so; thus by extending her vocabulary and learning the correct grammar she now has a choice to speak as she pleases, which no-one can ever take away from her. In conclusion, it can be seen that the escalation of knowledge and wisdom in Rita, has given her a choice to do what she wants, to say what she says, knowing that she is correct, and can place arguments to support her quotes. With this information, I draw to conclude that education does give a person a choice.