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Class And Culture

  • Date Submitted: 10/11/2012 04:35 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69.2 
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‘Educating Rita’ by Willy Russell


Themes


                                            Class, Culture

This is a play that makes us think about class and culture- how different they are for people and also   their impact on people’s lives and opportunities.


Rita comes from an uneducated   working class background.. Frank belongs to the educated middle classes   with a totally different culture. Actually, when Rita says that her background has no culture she is wrong – but it is a different culture.   Rita’s culture is based on pulp fiction, popular songs and television whereas Frank’s culture is based on quality literature and academic knowledge.   They really come from very different worlds and cultures yet the strange thing is that each envies the other and sees the other as being more ‘free’   Rita sees her class as a trap, holding her back from knowing what the world has to offer and believes that through education she will ‘dicover herself’ and gain happiness.

  Speaking of her culture she says ‘ I just see everyone pissed or on the valium, tryin’ to get from one day to the next’   She believes that the working class is encouraged to pursue money and possessions to divert them from what their lives lack.   ‘ The Unions tell them to go out an’ get more money’   Basically, Rita wants something that will give her life meaning.   Through education she believes she will find it.This is really asking a lot of education – to give your life meaning.

  Denny fears her involvement in education –probably   because deep down   he senses – correctly – that it will separate them in many senses.   It is made   clear that it is difficult for Rita to be educated and still be working class as we see increasingly her new understanding moves her away from what family and friends think is all- important in life.   In Denny’s case this is a baby and a nice home.



Therefore in Act 1   in culture, language and accent it is as if Rita and Frank belong to different worlds....

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