Frank’s Growing Sense of Unease as Rita Becomes More Educated Essay

Frank’s Growing Sense of Unease as Rita Becomes More Educated

In the play ‘Educating Rita’, Willy Russell shows the growingrelationship between the two main characters, Frank and Rita. Both arevery different from each other, yet a bond is immediately establishedbetween them in the early stages of the play. We first see Frank to bean unorthodox, nonchalant university lecturer who has a drink problem,a failing relationship and who is unhappy with his work and life.However, Rita is seen to be very different to him. As the audience,our first impressions of Rita are that she is of working-class origin,she is very extrovert and confident. An example of this is seen in actone, scene one, in which she bursts in through the door showing nomanners and says “I’m comin’ in, aren’t I? It’s that stupid bleedin’handle on the door.” This tells us immediately that she is workingclass, as she uses colloquial language with a local dialect, and showsno manners. She is very different to Frank who is very formal and doesnot swear. When Franks asks her a question, Frank says “pardon”,whereas Rita then follows with the word “what?” This immediatelycreates a contrast Rita has applied to the Open University to becomemore educated, something she sees to be a trait of middle classpeople. She has decided to do a literature course because she wants to”see” and not to read “the sort of poetry you can understand”. Shewants Frank to teach her “everything” so she can change from theperson she is now; to the sort of person she wants to be. The play isthe story of their relationship and the way it develops both asteacher-student and on a more pers…

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…f the play, by concluding Rita’s change, Frank’s feelingstowards her and his final acceptance of the person she now is. Frankused to be attracted to her, and thought her to be a very interestingcharacter, whereas now, she has none of the traits which attracted himto her, and so he now purely sees her as a friend, however he is stilluneasy about what the future holds. Throughout the play, we see howFrank’s feelings change from being attracted to her, to being cold andarrogant towards her in scene two of the second act. The endingRussell has chosen however, has no definite conclusion, and lets usimagine what might happen between the two characters in the future.However, as Frank now does not like Rita as much due to her change, itseems their relationship has runs its course, and there is no futurefor the two.


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