Educating Rita

Free Essays

New phases of experience frequently bring about growth and change in one’s life. As one experiences new stages in their life, change is an inherent part of moving ‘into the world’. Willy Russell’s play Educating Rita, shows us that attitude is important for change and growing ‘into the world’. The new experiences can be problematic but it’s up to the individual to prevail and conquer. It demonstrates to us that change involves taking risks leading to positive consequences of change.

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Opening the door provides new experiences for growth and change just like Rita opening the door to her lessons provides her the opportunity to absorb knowledge so eagerly. The Door allows you to get out and experience new things. The door, being the vital metaphor of the play, represents a barrier, which holds us back from instigating a change. It is the perfect symbol for going into the world. It is a portal to new opportunities and experiences if the individual decides to take the initiative. This poem tells us to take a chance, to leave your comfort zone, take a gamble, take a risk, risk it all, risk anything, heck!

Risk everything, and embark upon the outside world. In ER Rita struggles to open the door at the beginning but it becomes easier throughout as she is entering the educated world. She experiences Franks tutoring and she blindly idolises everything in the educated world as ideal and perfect. Her hunger for knowledge drives her through Frank’s lessons in order to grow and change. Rita expects Frank to teach her ‘everything’ in order to have choice and direction in her life, ‘I wanna discover meself’. Choice, to Rita, is more than ‘eight different types of lager’ as described by Denny representing her whole social class.

With her change, she must also forfeit parts of her life in order to make a smooth transition and permutation into the educated world ‘perhaps even abandon [her] uniqueness’ Throughout Act 1 her passion allows her to experience a lot of thing such as reading sophisticated books (which is a change from her regular pulp fiction books like “rubyfruit jungle”) and writing an essay without subjective tone. She goes to the theatre for the first time and finds herself learning about tragedy and something that is tragic from frank. All of these experiences llow her to grow because she now learns to see literature in a different perspective. She is stuck between these two worlds trying to figure out where she belongs. She’s half way through the door. she finds out that her Macbeth essay wasn’t adequate to pass exams. This drives her even further to reach the educated world. She also tells frank that she left Denny after she was given an ultimatum to continue studying or to have a baby. After this experience of leaving her old world for real she only really has one choice to go forward into the new world of options.

To go into the world is to leave your world behind and enter a new realm When Rita returns from summer school Frank is quite flabbergasted at Rita’s progression and confidence. She has also bought new second hand clothes, a symbol of her growth into the world. We are able to see this change in Rita as she fought her old-self at summer school when approached by a professor in regards to Ferlinghetti. Instead of Rita persisting to say ‘Only when its served with Parmesan cheese’ she holds back and replies with ‘Actually I’m not too familiar with American poets’.

This is a clear indication that Rita has changed her ways to move into the world of education and her new life. Rita’s confidence in herself is demonstrated as she tells Frank how often she stood up during lectures and asked questions constantly. Further growth in Rita is seen when she quotes Blake, to Frank’s surprise, and it is evident that Rita has come so far. Rita only starts to grow emotionally when she is finally disillusioned when her “dead classy” flatmate, whom she idolises, commits suicide.

Only then does she realise that what she had been pursuing, “what clothes to wear, what wine to buy, what plays to see”, are hollow and meaningless. By recognising that she “just ended up with a load of empty phrases [and] didn’t want it to be questioned”, she gains freedom ”   freedom of choice, and she chose to be herself, honest and liberated. She dived head first ‘into the world’ experiencing new things and overcoming obstacles with great determination which was needed to grow and change successfully. Her optimistic positive nonnegative not pessimistic attitude was the key ingredient for her victorious transformation

I found that Rita changed more than frank because she took a greater risk leading to a greater change. Frank experienced Rita’s transition from a unique student to just another one of his other students. He grows feelings for her and doesn’t like Rita changing so takes it personally when she experiences her new world. He doesn’t want to change anything, he has no ambition, no goals and changes by becoming more subjective, childish and selfish “Oh I’ve done a fine job on you, haven’t I”(he is still cynical). It’s ironic that he’s the reason for her changing yet he dislikes it

Franks drinking is a way of getting through the “frantic whirl” of life (and going ‘into the world’ an escape for him of this world). His jealously of Rita(Sorry Susan) fuels his drinking habits more. It is because of the grog that he gets sent to Australia. He finally comes to realization that he has to accept her for who she is by aiding her transition “…I’ve entered her for her examination…” and acts like the mature man Rita respects in the last scene. It is here where I believe the greatest change happened for frank. He got a haircut.

When he stopped fighting what is inevitable and stopped taking things personally he too changes. He is dependent on Rita for his change essentially. In contrast Rita wanted to change, knew what she wanted and most importantly was determined. Frank didn’t know what the future held for him. A door became presented to him when he was given an ultimatum to go to Australia or resign. He now has to take the initiative open it and embrace it. In Spiderman Peter Parker (PP) undergoes growth and change after experiencing a bite from a “super spider”.

Before he was a skinny, challenged, immature, insecure and a nerd. However after been bitten he becomes muscularly ripped and has increased motor skills “Weird,” a confused Parker remarks. This only initiates the transition from his old world into the world of a crime fighting superhero. He has to face various experiences before he grows and changes. He explores his new abilities of pre-cognition, wall climbing, “web slinging” and superhuman athleticism in till he leaps from a building, the peak of his self discovery. His surrogate father and uncle tells him “With reat power comes great responsibility. Remember that Pete. ” He has these powers forced upon him but he has the responsibility to choose what he does with them. He chooses how to move ‘into the world’ not you. Rita’s transition shows, the process of moving into a new world isn’t always simple and requires determination for change to overcome barriers and embrace new experiences in order to enter a new world successfully. The door shows us that entering a new world requires risks and taking on new experiences in order to grow.

Spiderman shows us that that change can be forced but it is what you do with that change that determines how you grow and move ‘into the world’. All of these texts show that new experiences lead to growth and change. And it’s worth taking the risk (the greater the risk the greater the change) because going into the world should always be better than staying behind. “Every man and woman is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done. ” Benjamin E. Mays

Being forced to change is more of a bumpy road but in till things are accepted permutations begin to flow. Wanting to change is a smoother ride but sometimes we need to be forced to change. Greater change there is the greater the gap between the two worlds The Celestine prophecy and the secret The short film dream want you want is about a man somewhere in the city trapped, his only chance of escape lies in his imagination. He strides around and has to choose between paths and eventually ends up where he started. He seeks advice from his phone to tell him there is no signal.

This continues in loops and he always ends up in the same spot making him more and more frustrated. We see him from a security camera perspective which suggests that someone is watching him. A stencil on the wall says ‘U think too much’ and then another says ‘dream what you want’. He then finally stops walking and takes a break. His attitude changes towards the words because throughout the film he ignores them and walks away in circles. He finally dreams of a pristine beach. He somehow ends up there and his dream girl gives him a shell which he still has when we finds himself in the courtyard in his usual reality.

The trapped part is a metaphor for society in the city. He is trapped in within these concrete walls and relies on technology for advice. Its not in till he stops thinking like the endless drones in our civilisation that he is able to free himself of the trapped city. He experiences something metaphysical and becomes in touch with a higher consciousness (maybe the being watching the security camera). He is able to go into the world by dreaming. He is actually going back ‘into the world’ before society relied on technology, nature and love. He grows by opening up to unusual concepts.

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