Essays on Educating Rita

Educating Rita
Original title Educating Rita
Author Willy Russell
Genre Comedy
Language English
Characters Rita, Denny, Frank, Julie, Susan, Trish, Brian, Tony, Carol, Pete ...
Published 1980
ISBN 9780141182768
Book Summary
Essay Examples

Table of Contents

Willy Russell’s Educating Rita is the story of a working-class woman who decides to better herself by enrolling in an adult education class. She meets and falls in love with her tutor, who is a burned-out professor. The story explores the themes of class, education, and relationships.Rita is a 26-year-old hairdresser from a working-class background who decides to take an Open University course in English literature. She is eager to learn and improve herself, but finds the university environment and her fellow students to be alienating. She befriends her tutor, Frank, who is a jaded, middle-aged professor. Frank is initially dismissive of Rita, but he is impressed by her determination to learn.The two form a close bond and Frank starts to mentor Rita. He introduces her to literature and she learns about the world outside her own experience. However, their relationship is not without its problems. Rita is married to an abusive husband and she is pregnant with his child. Frank is also married, but his wife has left him.As their relationship deepens, both Rita and Frank start to question their lives and what they want from them. Rita starts to feel trapped by her working-class background and wonders if she is good enough for Frank. Frank starts to feel suffocated by his empty life and wonders if he is doing anything worthwhile.Eventually, Rita leaves her husband and moves in with Frank. However, their relationship is not without its challenges and they are forced to confront the differences in their backgrounds. The story ends with Rita and Frank’s relationship in a uncertain place, but with both of them having learned and grown from the experience.

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FAQ about Educating Rita

How do Rita, Frank and their relationship change in ‘Educating Rita’?
...The book finished with her thinking about the biggest choice; whether to have a baby or not. I think Frank's character was portrayed well via his language and through his drinking habits. I really enjoyed the book and thought Russell kept me interest...