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As Rita Progresses She Changes - Note How Denny Reacts and How She Says of Herself ‘She’s Gone (Her Former Self) and I’ve Taken Her Place’. as She Says the Course Is ‘Providing Her with Life’, but Ironically It Is Also

  • Date Submitted: 10/13/2015 01:48 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.8 
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As the statement says, throughout the book the character of Rita changes in many ways, and although it does appear to be progress to some, one could argue she regresses. She develops from Rita: outgoing, individual and ‘a breath of fresh air’ as Frank describes, to ‘Susan’: what one could - without elucidating the matter - express as a ‘typical’ student (a ‘typical’ student being one shaped by the Marxist view on our education system).

With all change comes consequence, and in Educating Rita it comes in the form of heavily effected relationships. Towards the beginning of the book, one sees Rita as being in a controlling relationship with Denny, who is angered by their ineffective attempt at conceiving a child (unbeknownst to Denny, Rita is preventing such an occurrence). Rita says “I've been realizin' for ages that I was, y' know, slightly out of step. I'm twenty-six. I should have had a baby by now; everyone expects it. I'm sure me husband thinks I'm sterile. He was moanin' all the time, y' know, 'Come off the pill, let's have a baby.' I told him I'd come off it, just to shut him up. But I'm still on it. See, I don't wanna baby yet. I wanna discover myself first. Do you understand that?" and this shows how passionate Rita is towards her education, and believes that a baby would impact her chances of getting one. In the era the play is set, sexism is an iron force upon Rita, but despite her husband, family and extended society’s social expectation of her producing offspring, she wants to pursue the education she lusts;. Denny seems irate at this as his heavily negative attitude is reflected in acts such as burning Rita’s books (“Denny found out I was on the pill again; it was my fault, I left my prescription out. He burnt all me books”).

Rita’s unyielding desire to be ‘educated’ builds walls in her marriage, to the point where it terminates (the spiral into this becomes apparent in Act 1 Scenes 4 with quotes such as “Denny gets dead narked if I work at home....

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