Educating Rita Frank Essay

Educating Rita Frank Essay-23
Frank knows that there is 'nothing of you' in the essay she does on Blake, but ironically it will get a'good mark' in the exam.

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Frank is conventionally 'educated' - a professor - but what he has is lots of 'knowledge' which is academic - out of books - not really practical knowledge for living - everything is second hand. Frank wants her to 'discipline' her mind, but what he means is find a less subjective (personal) way to look at literature.

The irony is that this will make Rita less spontaneous and it might stifle her obvious passion for the truth and for life. Literature essays have to be written to a sort of formula.

(If you have time, read Shaw's 'Pygmalion' and see what happens to Eliza Doolittle when she comes under the influence of Professor Higgins)When Rita says culture is a 'way of living', she latches on to a really important fact about how people live.

(look at page 194/5) That's what 'education' is really about - finding things out and having 'meaning' in your life as a result.

It is a conscious choice for her, though and she is determined to have her place in the world she has chosen.

At the beginning of the play she is literally 'uneducated' - unschooled - knows little about academic things but LOTS about life.'There is a way of answering examination questions that is expected, it's a game, with rules.And you must observe the rules.' (p193) Important point.Now he cannot bear Rita and sees her as pretentious. The final scene is a kind of reconciliation, but the outcome is left unresolved. Frank, too has learned something and has been given the chance for a new start, but it is not made clear what will happen to either of them Frank has education, Rita wants it. Rita's education turns her into a different person, but is she better, or worse as a result?Rita is now her own woman - Frank is off to Australia. Rita's education changes her into a different woman - stronger, more resilient but also moves her out of her class into a world which is much more challenging but probably not so honest as the one she leaves.Ironically she doesn't realise how valuable this knowledge is.She casts off her old life willingly and what she gets in exchange is - as far as Frank is concerned - much less valuable. To Rita, though, education is a passport out of mediocrity into a superior lifestyle.She does pay a price, but the question you might like to consider is whether the price is worth the sacrifices she makes along the way.Frank is disillusioned with the education game - Rita isn't, at first, but probably realises what it has done to her at the end.You might like to explore the idea of whether or not University qualifies anyone for anything in the 'real' world?Rita wants to be 'successful' because she thinks she is unhappy where she IS.


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