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Educating Rita Practice Essay

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Educating Rita Practice Essay

2011 Question

Explain how Educating Rita and ONE other related text of your own choosing portray the consequences of moving into the world.

Although there are many benefits which come from moving into a new world and changing one' life, there are also consequences which individuals must contend with. In the plat "Educating Rita" by Willy Russell and Steven Soderbergh's biographical film "Erin Brockovich", both protagonists, Rita and Erin, must sort out conflicts which have derived from them getting an education at a university and becoming a paralegal. However in the end they both benefit from changing, for example, at the end of the film Erin receives a large paycheck for her work in the PG&E lawsuit which helped give her children a better life.

Throughout the play "Educating Rita", by Willy Russell, Rita must deal with her actions in regards to her desire to become an educated woman. One of the conflicts Rita has to overcome is between herself and her family, in particular Denny, her husband. Denny has a negative attitude towards Rita's desire to be educated as well as an expectation of a wife. He tries to hinder Rita's progress in becoming an educated woman by burning her books "he burnt all me books" and giving her an ultimatum, "He said either I stop comin' here and come off the pill or I could get out altogether".

By burning Rita's books and giving her an ultimatum, Denny is telling Rita how he feels as well as making her choose between her desire to be educated or their marriage. In the end Rita is prepared to sacrifice some aspects of her present lifestyle to become educated and cultured. This is evident when she is kicked out of the house by Denny and moves into her mothers. This is a symbolic moment as it represents Rita's early transition towards her new life and of her coming into the world. As Rita's desire to become educated strengthens, her relationship with Denny weakens and ultimately she sacrifices her marriage to Denny so that she can be educated ad cultured.

Another conflict Rita faces is internally. In the play, Rita questions her reasons for going into this new world. For example, she feels momentarily dismayed when she feels like she does not belong anywhere. This is evident when Rita is invited to attend a dinner by Frank but decides not to attend because she feels like the other guest will make fun of her. Instead she joins her family in a sing along at a pub however even then Rita feels like an outsider. "I'm a freak... I'm a half-caste".

These metaphors "freak" and "half-caste" dramatise her inner turmoil an highlight the challenges created by change and times of transition



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