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English Literature



Educating Rita is a comedy, but it still tackles some serious issues.

Personal growth


Rita believes at the start of the play that an education will give her the opportunity of a different life.

She becomes excited by the new ideas and books she reads. She learns to say the right thing to conform to expectations and to express the standard view about a text. She starts to annoy Frank with what he considers to be the artificiality of her behaviour.

Early on in the play he tells her that she is being subjective [subjective: Judging something just from your personal viewpoint. when she talks about EM Forster, but later Rita is able to accuse Frank of subjectivity (when talking about William Blake) - she has moved on and he has got crosser as she has moved on.


It is unclear whether Frank really changes/grows in the play. It is probably a slow process, but he does seem to be moving to a kind of recognition about himself as well as re-evaluating the literary culture that he has been teaching.

By the end of the play Rita is confident, cultured and balanced. In Educating Rita, that seems to be celebrated as being as good as it gets!



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