Educating Rita Frank Essay

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The change is now inevitable when she decides 'that's why I'm staying'By the end of the first act we see that Rita has burned her boats - she will give up everything that Frank finds so refreshing about her - her spontaneity and her enthusiasm - and become an academic scholar - just like him.

Rita's change - her increased confidence and ability to 'perform' at summer school is evident.

'There is a way of answering examination questions that is expected, it's a game, with rules.

And you must observe the rules.' (p193) Important point.

She does pay a price, but the question you might like to consider is whether the price is worth the sacrifices she makes along the way.

Frank is disillusioned with the education game - Rita isn't, at first, but probably realises what it has done to her at the end.(If you have time, read Shaw's 'Pygmalion' and see what happens to Eliza Doolittle when she comes under the influence of Professor Higgins)When Rita says culture is a 'way of living', she latches on to a really important fact about how people live.(look at page 194/5) That's what 'education' is really about - finding things out and having 'meaning' in your life as a result.You might like to explore the idea of whether or not University qualifies anyone for anything in the 'real' world?Rita wants to be 'successful' because she thinks she is unhappy where she IS.The following notes are a starting point for you to look at some of the issues that are raised in Russell's play.You should remember that they are not intended to be set in concrete. How do you think each character would answer that question - what is a 'real' life? Rita wants to be educated because she says 'I wanna know'.As she shows when she tells him about having 'already done' Blake's poetry' - she is moving on, leaving him behind.As Frank deteriorates - drinking more and falling over in the lecture - Rita becomes more remote.Ironically she doesn't realise how valuable this knowledge is.She casts off her old life willingly and what she gets in exchange is - as far as Frank is concerned - much less valuable. To Rita, though, education is a passport out of mediocrity into a superior lifestyle.


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