How does Willy Russell use dramatic devices to show the change in character and relationship in Rita and Frank.
In this essay I will be exploring the dramatic devices Willy Russell uses to show the changes in characters and the development in relationships.
One of the dramatic devices is the telephone. The telephone shows to me that Frank is the sort of person who never really socialises and only cares about himself and his always in his own world.
“The telephone rings and startles him,.”
This stage direction supports my point because the word “startles” implies that he is shocked about the phone call as if no-one ever calls him, the word “startles”, also implies that he is not focusing on what is going on around him and what he is doing and he indulges in his drink.
The first impression I get of Frank is that he is emotionally unstable because he is always frantically searching for something in his bookcase, and he is constantly saying random letters and names,
I also got the impression that Frank is not really interested in his job working at the university also I got the impression that Frank has always wanted to do something other than teaching, in the movie Frank is in a completely different world when his is in a lecture as well that Frank doesn’t really seem that interested in teaching the students at all.
Another dramatic device Willy Russell uses is the door, the door in Frank’s study is like a barrier between him and his students,
“I’m comin’ in, aren’t I? You wanna get that bleedin’ handle fixed.”
This supports my point because the fact that Frank is not in the slight bit interested to fix the door and he knows the door is unable to open easily shows me that he is deliberately trying to keep out his students and his co-workers , this also shows me that he has a lot to hide because he is constantly in his study.
The door projects the emotions of Rita before she opens the door,
“there’s another knock on the door.”
This suggests that Rita is nervous and she wants to get her interview over and done with.
I think Rita would be nervous because she is stepping into a world where she doesn’t fit in and where she stands out from other students because she comes from a lower class, also I think that Rita is nervous because she is breaking away from the traditional role expected of lower class women in the 1970’s.
“I’m I should’ve had a baby by now. Everyone expects it.”
The first impression I received from Rita is she’s a lower class woman who is trying something new for the first and would probably give up after a while,
“Because I might decide to pack it in.”
During Act 1 Scene 1 Rita shows that she is really determined to become a student and educate herself.
“It’s not sudden. I’ve been realising for ages that I’m out of step.”
The relationship between Frank and Rita has been strong since the beginning because Frank saw something unique in Rita that his other students don’t have,
“You’re the first breath of fresh air that’s been in this room for years.”
This quote shows the strength of relationship between Frank and Rita because earlier he was talking about throwing his students out of his study window, Frank doesn’t really interact with his students in the way he does with Rita.
I think that Frank feels that Rita is portraying the life he would love to have away from annoying students who analysis everything.
Willy Russell uses the window as another dramatic device , I think that the window is significant because it shows a connection between Frank and the outside world, the window shows changes in Rita when she comes back from summer school , in the film when Frank was looking out of the window he acknowledges Rita sitting down on the bench and approaches her showing the breaking of the barrier whereas before he would have been completely oblivious to what is going on around him.
Earlier in the play the breaking of the barrier by Frank was suttle,
“you’re the first breath of fresh air that’s been in this room for years.”
This shows the breaking of the barrier of the two classes because it shows that they can get along.
The change in Rita is shown by the window after summer school because in the beginning of the film , Rita hid away from the students and she looked down onto the students on the grass when she was in Franks study , But when she came back Rita mingles in with the students and pushes Frank to go out an sit on the grass with them.
“lets go out there. On the grass.”
This shows that she’s breaking out of her shell and she’s mixing in with the middle class and she is not standing out anymore.
During the time Rita was at summer school, I think she changed remarkably in her knowledge and the language she used.
“Blake, William Blake.”
This quote supports my point because at the beginning she would have referred the poet to a person in the lower class that frank has never heard of but now she is analysing and instantly naming poets off by heart because at the end of Act 2 Scene1 she recited one of William Blake’s poem “The Songs Of Innocence.”
The Dramatic devices Willy Russell uses shows a lot of emotion between Frank and Rita , because Frank is an image Rita would like to have knowledge wise and vice versa , like the window showed a lot of changes so did the door. The first impression I get of Rita’s and Franks relationship is a student and teacher relationship, but as the play progresses their relationship turns into a more personal one.
The play of Educating Rita was mainly based on Willy Russell’s life and the changes he had to go through , I feel that the dramatic devices Willy Russell uses are very successful in showing the changes in relationship and life of Rita and Frank.