Perhaps Willy Russell’s attitude towards his work might partly explain his appeal? As well as being concerned to pitch his work at the broadest possible audience he says that: “I really don’t want to write plays which are resigned, menopausal, despairing and whining. I don’t want to use any medium as a platform for displaying the smallness and hopelessness of man” – Willy Russell This statement is especially interesting, because on one level Frank and Rita’s story might easily have illustrated precisely what Willy Russell is at pains to avoid.
In Rita we see a character driven by a sense of incompleteness, who struggles for an education that will take her beyond the class and culture into which she has been born, a theme reflected in many of Russell’s major plays since mid-1970s. She commits herself to the Open University course, well aware of what she is leaving behind and what must change. Rita realises that her class may have a certain level of affluence, but its way os life lacks meaning for her. She doesn’t actually believe in a distinct working class culture. ‘Educating Rita’ is very much character driven and lacks a real crisis point in it.
We do, however, learn a lot about the two characters Frank and Rita tend to hold the audience’s focus during the play. The dialogue and conversations between the characters hold the play together. ‘Educating Rita’ illustrates how a comedy can also raise serious issues. One of its greatest attractions, however, is its humour. Ranging from dry intellectual wit to the downright coarse, humour springs from Rita’s and Frank’s relationship, and the attraction of two very different cultures and backgrounds. Willy Russell’s play gives a hilarious and often moving account of a young woman’s determination to change her life.
Every play written uses dramatic elements. The main dramatic elements are plot, character, theme, and language. Lillian Hellman, who wrote the Little Foxes, incorporates these elements beautifully in her play. The play is set during the spring of 1900 and takes place in the Deep South part of the United States of America. Just as every other play, the Little Foxes has included the dramatic ...
Rita thinks an increase in intelligence and worldly knowledge will change this, and set her “free”. She strives to change classes, and although is different from her working class peers, she still isn’t ready to be accepted as middle class. She aims to reach her goals through the Open University course, yet naively thinks that knowing what books to read and what clothes to wear will allow her to immediately become accepted as part of her chosen social strata. Rita wants more out of life. For many years she has felt ‘out of step’. She knows ‘there are better songs to sing’ and for this reason she decided to apply for the Open University.
Getting an education is not without challenges for Rita and the stuck door is a metaphor for the enormous effort she will need to put in. In order for Rita to achieve the goals she is setting she need to have the right attitude. Rita describes what school life was like for her when she was younger on p17 (Act 2, Scene 2) as: “…borin’, ripped-up books, broken glass everywhere, knives an’ fights. An’ that was just in the staffroom. Nah, they tried their best I suppose, always tellin’ us we stood more of a chance if we studied. But studyin’ was just for the whimps, wasn’t it?
See, if I’d started takin’ school seriously I would have had to become different from me mates, an’ that’s not allowed. ” We see the attitude of Rita change throughout the play. Whereas when you look at the movie “Bend it like Beckham”, the stereotypes about woman staying home cooking, cleaning, looking after the children shows the cultural differences. In both texts they manage to relate to each other as both main women, Rita and Jess have to change their attitudes in order to make the right choices for themselves, even if that means losing the trust of those around you.
In ‘Bend it like Beckham’, Jess is an Indian girl who has a passion for playing football, and her idol is David Beckham. She becomes friends with Jules, a white girl, who introduces her to the Heathrow Harriers, an all-women football team. Jess’s parents are traditional Sikhs and disapprove of their daughter playing football and showing her bare legs in public. Although they ban her from attending football practise and matches, Jess pretends she has a job with HMV so that she can continue to play football. Jules, on the other hand, is supported by her father; although her mother would rather she was more feminine.
Belonging implies change, and change rarely comes without consequence. The progression to belong into a now culture or place may be physical, emotional or mental. Rita, driven by feeling inadequate is the main character in Willy Russell’s play, Educating Rita. She achieves a successful move into her new world. However, she must overcome change which will come at a personal cost. Throughout the ...
The team get to play in Hamburg and Jess pretends to be staying with her cousin in Croydon, helped in the plan by her sister, Pinky, whose marriage is cancelled after the groom’s parents mistakenly thought they saw Jess kissing a white boy in the street. While in Germany, Jess and the team’s coach, Joe, nearly kiss following a night at a club, and are seen by Jules, who also fancies Joe. Jules is outraged as Jess has ‘broken the rules’, and she refuses to speak to Jess for the rest of the trip. When Jess goes round to Jules’ house to try and restore their friendship, Jules is very angry.
Her mother, outside the door, misunderstands what is happening, and assumes that Jess and her daughter had been lovers. She is distressed to think her daughter is a lesbian. Towards the end of the film you as the viewer see a transition, where Jess finally stands up for herself. She finally has the right attitude in which she is able to tell her parents that she wants to play football not follow their tradition and remarkably her father allows it as he doesn’t want his daughter to have to go through what he went through as a young boy. ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ relates to ‘Educating Rita’ in different ways.
The Indian tradition of women getting married, having children and taking on domestic duties like cooking and cleaning relates to Rita how she is expected to live in the same sort of way but wants to break away from that social status ad live her own life. The scene when Jess first plays soccer with the team. The coach Joe asks Jess “where do you play? ” and Jess replies “in the park”. It shows her naivety, this relates to ‘educating Rita’ when Frank first met and Frank asks her “and you are? ” and Rita replies “I’m a what”. Both Jess and Rita are not aware of the context of the situation.
While reading the article in the Sports Illustrated publication I assess the topic about men being able to play field hockey with other women. Many of the people that live in the western Massachusetts area oppose allowing men to play at the woman's level. I do agree in permitting men to play field hockey on a girl's high school team. I think that the boys that are talked about in the article are ...