How Does Russel Establish the Characters of Rita?

Topics: Social class, Working class, Marxism Pages: 2 (690 words) Published: March 5, 2013
How does Russel establish the characters of Rita?

In the play “Educating Rita”, Rita is one of the main character along with Frank. She is described as a twenty-six years old women that works as an hairdresser. “ y’ know if I’m in the hairdresser’s – that’s where I work-“. Russel since from the beginning of the play lets the audience know that Rita is situated in the working class as she works in the hairdresser. This can also be understood by the way she introduced herself to Frank in scene one. “ It’s that stupid bleeding handle on the door. Y’ wanna get it fixed!”. Rita dialect and accent, using inappropriate lexical choices “stupid bleeding handle” and a large use of contractions “y’, comin’,etc.”, are not appropriate for the academic environment of the university and can highlight even more the different social class, compared to Frank, from which she belongs. This introduce to us the two main themes of the play: education and class divide. During Act one she describes herself as an “Alien” because she feels that she doesn’t belong to any place.

Russel build her character as a very strong women that wants to be different and wants to change her social class. This is the motivation that pushed her to go to the university and begin to take literature classes with her tutor, Frank. Always in Act one, scene one, we discover that Rita’s real first name is not Rita but Susan. “I’m not a Susan any more. I’ve called myself Rita”. Is possible that Russel with this quotation was trying to highlights her need of changing. She decided to change name also to change her identity and to start a new “educated life”. She is very determined on continuing studying also if she is lack of knowledge.

Rita is really impulsive with Frank and she always says what she thinks. In scene one she expresses her ideas commenting on the print in Frank’s office. “It’s very erotic”. This quotation shows how she never stops in front of anything and she always express her ideas...
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