Moving into a new world or changing and adapting into a new environment can bring forward positive or negative changes into an individuals life. Some of these changes result from new discoveries been adapted or simply by meet new people and adapting their way of life. There fore change been to make a radical difference that affects you and those around you. Educating rita is a clear depiction of how changing or adapting a new way of life can bring forward various discoveries , opportunities and can even teach you more about your self a something you might have lacked in.
Rita one of the main characters in the play finds her self at an open university due to her believing that education is the key to having a sustainable life and the need to change will bring forward more opportunities to her in life regardless of her past or her outcomes. Not only the education that would bring her a better job or better pay but an education that would open up a whole new world and whole new concepts for her. As she enrolls in an open university rita has to face transformations and has to go through them to develop.
From a person with hardly any formal schooling at all into a student who passes her university exams with ease and distinction. A scene in the play in which rita describes her life and how her people are blinded with the notion of not been able to achieve anything in life but instead of wasting their lives commencing other useless and life wasting activities like drug taking , alcohol and mainly been influenced by the government and the media to continue this way of life. “ Act 1 scene 4” “But the are not cos theres no meaning they tell y” stories about the past y’ know the war” Theres like a sort of disease , but no one mentions it everyone behaves as though it’s normal y’ know inevitable thats theres vandalism an’ violence houses burnt” “Theres something wrong and the worst thing you know is the people who are supposed to like represent the people on our estate y’ know the daily mirror an’ the sun an’ itv and the unions , they just tell them to go out and get more money and itv tells them what to spend it on. ”
She finishes by saying “ The disease is always covered” which emphsises her feelings towards the issue classifying it as a disease that is en planted in he minds of many by the government. Rita firstly meets his main tutor been frank , a teacher that teaches comparative literature and also having the role of preparing rita for her exams. Sadly for frank, enthusiasm in his job is lost as he settles for other reasons in life, like drinking of alcohol to escape reality. But that all turns around when rita comes into the picture. When the 2 characters meet for the first time there is a sense of not belonging due to both parties been from completely different classes or levels.
Rita is quite eager to receive an education and tends to question frank asking him questions about how she can improve. At the beginning of the play rita is completely uneducated and knows quite little about academic standards but quite a lot about life and its experiences that she has gone though and saw. Rita at the start does not realise how important this is as she is ready to move away from her old life and into a new life that is more guaranteed with opportunities etc. To rita education is a passport of freedom success exactly the thing that her tutor opposes to due to the lost interest in education,.
He feels like rita’s life is an incredible way to discover your self and who you are. Rita’ s progress in her academic education does not come easy. The main obstacles she faces come from her working class background and her husband Denny. Denny has very traditional ideas about the social role of a good woman. He does not only fail to support her educational efforts, but even obstructs them wherever he can. He feels–not without reason–that he is slowly losing control over his wife, and he bitterly accuses her of thinking that he and her family are “not good enough” for her anymore.
Open university was set up in 1969 mainly for people who needed a second chance and had failed previously to prevail in a higher education level. It at the time pioneered new teaching methods and guaranteed a strong end result in people been more than able to have a better education. How rita really transforms into into her new world is quite complex. Initially frank and rita are both outsiders and do not have a knowledge of each others worlds but sooner begin to like and make a transformation into each others world , change that was often forced upon rita regardless of her been omfortable with it or not.
An example of this is when frank gets to know rita more by developing a mutual relationship with him to the point where both characters a comfortable with each other , enough so to take their professional relationship outside into the real world and invite each other to whatever activities they have planned. Frank invites rita to a dinner with his family and rita becomes self conscious about how she should present her self ( example what to wear ) and is not entirely sure about transitioning into franks world , due to her been a married and loyal woman.
Yet many women in the 1970’s like rita were beggining to feel frustrated that their main roles in life were those of housewife and mother. They wanted to be treated as equals to men in law , in employment and in pay. This is how rita felt with times where the husband felt like she was going to loose rita to her new world. Due to her taking over the manly more educated figure that was ones a role that he played in their relationship. This change that rita inherits is not entirely smooth as times frank feels that he is losing Rita.
The acknowledgement of of Rita’s academic achievements is tarnished by the fact that it also takes her away from him. Franks feels as if rita is in the perfect world and the perfect state where she does not need to change who she is or where is meant to be. This is something that franks loved through out the play about rita because she brought a new light into his extremely uninteresting life. Her talkative company and conversations kept him engaged in other aspirations other than the drinking of alcohol.
Rita even influences frank to pursue what he wants and make decisions that will benefit him and only him. one of their last conversations Rita acknowledges that Frank had been right when he seemingly belittled her academic accomplishments: “You think that I just ended up with a load of quotes and empty phrases; an’ I did. I was so hungry. I wanted it all so much that I didn’t want it to be questioned. I told y’ I was stupid. ” After thinking things over, however, and after having had a chance to take a closer look at the actual lives of people like Frank and Trish, she can see now that higher learning has to be questioned, and that seriously questioning it is an indispensable part of any liberal education worthy its name.
The play shows rita’s changes in a variety of ways , from her actions and speech to her latter changing from the natural clumsiness at the start to a more well spoken individual who is able to speak her mind clearly and express how she feels. In the end rita is able to finally find her path way in life by continuing with her education discovering new things and opening new doors for herself.