Educating Rita

Rita's Changes in Act 1

Educating Rita is a play about change and transformation. Susan White, a working class girl, wants to escape the trappings of the class system and become “educated”, thinking that this will allow her to “sing a better song“. By the end of the play, her transformation is absolute, and while the drastic changes can be seen during Act 2, many aspects of Rita and her life have changed throughout the first section. Most obviously, she changes her name to Rita, after her favourite author. This is particularly endearing as it shows her ambition to escape her previous life but also her naivety at naming herself after such a lesser author.

Rita’s first entrance is, although delayed by the stiff door, bustling and energetic; instantly she is talking and chastising. Her speech is constant, masking her nervousness and streams out as a tirade: it is Rita leading the conversation. However, in her final entrance of the Act, Rita enters “slowly” and “wanders”. It is now Frank that leads the conversation, speaking first and prompting Rita with questions, and when Rita replies it is short and to the point, almost stilted. While her nervousness is gone, Rita has already started to lose the energy and “uniqueness” that made her such an interesting...

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