Words of Wisdom:

"I HavE YoUR BoOk!!!!!" - Suvi2

Educating Rita

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 04:11 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.9 
  • Words: 1054
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Although Rita knows that intellectual enlightenment is important, to Rita, education provides much more to her in Willy Russell’s Educating Rita. Rita’s education is not restricted to scholastic learning alone, her transformation from the uneducated Rita to the educated Susan is all encompassing. Rita sees and understands the importance of being well educated, but for Rita, education helps her to overcome her background and break away from the traditional role expected of a woman in the 1970s. Rita has set herself on a course of self-discovery, she has a determination to control her own life and make her own choices. Rita believes it is education that will give her these choices. Rita knows that the value of education goes far beyond simple intellectual enlightenment. Education entirely changes Rita which, though she is prepared for a change, effects her life enormously.





Rita’s background has held her back and put her at a disadvantage. There was a great deal of research done in the 1970s to show that middle class children were far more likely to do well at school and to go on to university than working-class children like Rita. Rita’s schooling disadvantage is shown in her recollection of school life:


“…borin’, ripped-up books, broken glass everywhere, knives an’ fights.   An’ that was just in the staffroom. Nah, they tried their best I suppose, always tellin’ us we stood more of a chance if we studied. But studyin’ was just for the whimps, wasn’t it? See, if I’d started takin’ school seriously I would have had to become different from me mates, an’ that’s not allowed.” (Act 1, Scene 2, p17)


Rita felt the need to conform to the way everyone around her lived their lives until she realised that there was a way out. The class antagonism that pressures Rita can be seen through language misunderstandings between Frank and Rita:


Frank: You are?


Rita: What am I?


Frank: Pardon?


Rita: What?
...

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