Educating Rita

Topic: EducationStudying Abroad
Sample donated:
Last updated: June 25, 2019

Her tutor’s name is Frank, they both have two very different personalities and this is revealed throughout the book, Frank is more of an up tight person wiles Rita is the kind of girl that says what she thinks even if it would hurt people’s feelings. A perfect example of that is that she calls Frank ‘a mad piss artist’.Literary references are the associations relating to other things.During the book Educating Rita, you get many literary references that you might not understand at first, for example in scene 1 when Rita first comes into Franks office she walks over to Franks book case and asks:Rita: What’s this like?Frank: Howard’s end?Rita: Yeh. It sounds filthy, doesn’t it? E.M Foster.Frank: ForsterRita: Oh yeh.

What’s it like?Frank: Borrow it. Read it.Even if you do not know Howard’s end by E.M Forester you know that it must be a book for ‘Educated people’ since you know that someone like Rita would think it’s a filthy book by some man called E.M Foster, and has never read it before.At the same time as educating Rita Willy Russell educates us.

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Another example of not having to know the literary reference is Rita’s real name is Susan but she has changed her name for it to be the same as her favorite writer Rita Mae Brown the writer of Ruby fruit jungle, by the point that Rita has read it and Frank hasn’t you know that it must be the kind of book that Rita would read and Frank wouldn’t.There are some literary references that you might not understand though for example in scene 5 at the end of the book when Rita is ‘educated’ she says ‘ Nobody calls me Rita anymore but you Frank’ and Frank shouts after her ‘what is it now then? Virginia? Or Charlotte? Or Jane? Or Emily?’By this he meant that Rita might have changed her name to another famous writer like Jane Austin. But you wouldn’t know straight away whom these people.In scene 1 on page 21 Rita makes a joke ‘Y’ know Frank, Frank ness, Elliot’s brother’. And Frank doesn’t understand so Rita says ‘you’ve still not got it have y’? Elliot Ness- y’ know, the famous Chicago copper who caught Al Capone.’ So Frank says ‘Ah. When you said Elliot I assumed you meant T.S Eliot’So as you can see this is a clear example of the different ways that they think.

Frank thinks that by the Joke Rita meant T.S Eliot a famous writer, but what Rita really meant was Elliot Ness the famous Chicago copper who caught Al Capone on TV.Another example is on page 22, Rita says that she read one of T.S Eliot’s poem’s ‘I tried to read this thing he wrote called ‘J. Arthur Prufrock ‘; I couldn’t finish it’ and Frank corrects her and says ‘I think you’ll find it was ‘J.

Alfred Prufrock’, Rita. J. Arthur is something else all together.’On page 23 Frank doesn’t know who Farrah Fawcett is and Rita says that Farrah Fawcett used t be with Charlie’s Angels. So you can see that it’s not always Rita that doesn’t understand all the references. Because they come form two very different backgrounds, in both social and educational terms.At the beginning of the play it is obvious that Frank is so much more educated than Rita, especially when Rita says ‘he’s a flora man’ and Frank thinks that she means flower.

But what she really means is Flora the margarine, she is so much simpler than him.Towards the end of the play Rita started reading ‘Peer Gynt’ and Frank started reading things like ‘Ruby fruit jungle’, it’s like they have exchanged personalities, I think that they helped each other really, at the beginning of the play Frank was un happy with literature, and you could tell that being a teacher really didn’t make him happy you could tell because of his drinking problem, but when Rita walked into his office and started ‘teaching him’ about things that ‘used to be’ important to her, he became happy, he also starts using her words. And Frank gave Rita that gift of being educated, which is what she’s always wanted to be.Personally I mostly understand the references that Rita talks about, some of the things that Frank says I don’t even understand, but that didn’t stop me from not appreciating the story, I really enjoyed reading about that way that Rita changed from being someone that read things like ‘Ruby fruit jungle’ to someone who reads ‘Peer Gynt’ and understands it.So as a conclusion I would say that yes, you can appreciate the play ‘Educating Rita’ without understanding all the literary references, because even if you don’t know who T.

S Eliot is or E.M Forester you do know that they are famous writers and that they are people who someone like Rita would never of known at the begging of the play. There is so much more to the story than the literary references, it is the exchange of life, knowledge and experiences that Frank and Rita make that are important.

So they have both gained from their relationship together.

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