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Module C - Educating Rita - Moving Into The World - Essay Example

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Speech – ‘The experience of moving into the world can challenge individuals’ attitudes and beliefs.’ Coming of age or the compulsion to move into a new world is an ever evolving process in our lives. From walking, to speaking, to understanding, we all grow as people…
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Module C - Educating Rita - Moving Into The World
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Module C - Educating Rita - Moving Into The World

“Everything I know--and you must listen to this--is that I know absolutely nothing” – Educating Rita This quote aptly sums up the experiences of those venturing into a new world as the very experience tends to challenge and at times question everything one knows including their values and beliefs. The experience of venturing into a new world often leads to encountering various challenges that detain attitudes and beliefs that ultimately define an individual’s psychological dispositions, however history bears testimony to the fact that such challenges or obstacles encountered by individuals are often short term and yield innumerable benefits in the long run. Willy Russel's Educating Rita offers an intriguing perspective on the manner in which Rita - a young and ambitious hairdresser from Liverpool, undergoes various trials and transformations in the pursuit of goals and manages to get various rewards in the forms of life changing qualities such as self-confidence, independence and education which she so longed for. Her exhilarating journey is in many ways similar to that of the characters Ernesto Guevara and Alberto Granado, in the MotorCycle diaries. The transition into a new world is almost synonymous to encountering endless challenges which individuals are forced to fathom in the midst of their journey as they adapt to their new surroundings. The composer Willy Russell has creatively portrayed this in the opening scene in the play through various symbolic elements. Here “we see” Rita is presented struggling to open the door to Frank’s office. This gives “us” an insight on the very pinnacle of Rita’s character and the manifest challenges she is likely to face as she strives to ‘enter’ the ‘new world’. The stage directions used here emphasize the stark differences and the characterisations of the two – signifying, Rita’s seeming state of ignorance and lack of dexterity to manoeuvre her way into the world unknown to her. On being unable to open the door she exclaims “It's that stupid bleedin' handle on the door. You wanna get it fixed!” The use of slang and the tone of her voice shock not only Frank but take the reader by surprise, since Rita seems completely oblivious to the social conventions and the use of formal speech. Thus this enables “us” the audience to paint a more precise image of Rita’s boldness and her values. In addition the stage directions used in this instance that focus on Frank’s confused face further emphasizes her naivety and exposes the intricacies of her character and attitudes. The moving into a new world despite age or background is one that requires sacrifice. Defying dominant socio-cultural norms is an inevitable and inherent part of the struggles encountered by those venturing into a new world. In Educating Rita, the challenges faced by Rita are highlighted through the various dialogues between her and Frank in relation to the complications of her background, education and marital life. Rita is depicted inept to pursue her studies due to her husband’s disapproval of her ambitions and beliefs. These obstacles ultimately stand in the form societal pressure or the pressure to conform to dominant cultural expectations during her schooling years. This is highlighted in the text “See, if I'd started takin' school seriously I would've had to become different from me mates, an' that's not allowed” – this indicates the social pressure experienced by Rita forbidding her to defy the set social standards and ... Read More
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