Rita moves from her uneducated working class life to a formally educated one. However, in the process Rita comes to realize that this was never going to be what gave her a sense of fulfillment. Instead Rita comes to a stronger sense of self.
Positives of the transition:
??? Discovery and enlightment ??“ Rita discovers a new world far removed from her restrictive world as a wife and hairdresser.
??? Freedom and choice ??“ Rita desires the ability to choose her future not have it forced upon her. She hopes that her new life will present opportunities that her existing life has failed to deliver ??“ education, travel and culture.
Reasons for Rita??™s transition:
??? ???I wanted a better way of living me life??? ??“ she wants to become educated so that she can move out of her uneducated working class.
Challenges that Rita faces:
??? Frank doesn??™t want to teach her
??? Her boyfriend doesn??™t want her to become educated instead wants her to move to Formsby
??? Rita didn??™t try in school because she didn??™t want to be different from her friends
??? The people around her are reluctant for her to change; when her boyfriend finds out that she is still on the pill he burns her books and essay.
??? Her tutor Frank is an alcoholic who attends lectures drunk.
Consequences of Rita??™s transition:
??? She loses her job at the hairdresser
??? Breaks up with her boyfriend
??? Gets her books and essay burned
Educating the author
William Russell was born in Whiston, just outside Liverpool, in 1947. At primary school he enjoyed reading, football and gardening, these were the only subjects he liked, but at his secondary school he was consigned to the factory fodder D stream. It was in this surprising environment that he conceived the idea of being a writer. His only experience of factory work caused him to fail to obtain a printing apprenticeship, so his mother suggested he trained to be a womens hairdresser, he worked as a womans hairdresser for five years eventually running his own salon. After this he was seeking a career that would give him a greater opportunity to write, he decided to become a student, having now passed O Level English at night class. No Local Education Authority would give him a bursary, so he spent some time girder cleaning at Fords in order to fund his college O and A level studies. In 1970 he trained as a teacher.
You can see in the play that Russell is commenting on society as Russell is almost like Rita, she lives near Liverpool with little education and works in a hairdressers and tries to get the opportunity to have choice by getting an education
Related material ??“ A matter of death and life by Poala Totaro
How does ???a matter of death and life??? relate to into the world
A matter of death and life composed by Paola Totaro is a feature article examining the transition into a new phase of life made by Gaille MacKinnon. Dissatisfies with her 10 year career in the film industry and motivated by the deaths of her grandmother and mentor as well as the collapse of her marriage, MacKinnon qualifies as a forensic anthropologist archaeologist. Totaro??™s use of short sentences ???Why??™ gives emphasis to the reasons why MacKinnon decides to do the work she does. MacKinnon gives reasons like ???looking back, I think I have always had a fascination with the dead and post death processes.??™ MacKinnon works for the United Nations in locations such as Bosnia; she finds fulfillment bringing closure to the families of the victims. ???I see my work as a way of giving a voice to the dead.??™
Techniques used in the article
??? Inverted cliche (???A matter of life and death??? is changed to ???a matter of death and life???)
MacKinnon??™s work with ???death and post death processes??™ is about giving relatives closure to get on with life.
??? Biographical detail ??“ A 10 year stint in the film industry. Melbourne born, schooled in Australia and trained at University college of London
This gives specific detail to MacKinnon??™s past and the transition she is making into a new phase of her life
??? Quotes from MacKinnon ??“ (Highlighted in the article)
??? Authorial intrusion (voice of the writer) ??“ MacKinnon??™s fascination with death is both palpable and intriguing
??? Colloquial language (slang) ??“ ???I??™d been banging on about it???
The use of slang relates with Educating Rita, since Rita is not educating at the start of the novel there is a large use of slang.
??? Variation of sentence length ??“ ???Why???
To add emphasis to specific things quoted by MacKinnon in the article, for example the reasons as to why she chose to be an anthropologist archaeologist.
Reasons for MacKinnon??™s transition:
??? The breakdown of her marriage
??? The death of her grandfather and mentor ???Schepisi??™ within a month of each other
??? She always had a passion for death and post death processes
??? Passion for medicine
Consequences of MacKinnon??™s transition:
??? Can??™t eat meat with bones or tubes
??? Can??™t eat particular cheeses as they give a smell of ammonia which reminds her of decomposition
??? Doesn??™t go back to the countries she has worked in unless she is needed to.
Reasons for doing the work she does:
??? ???Human being need to reconnect and bid farewell to those who have???
??? She sees it as ???A way of giving a voice to the dead???
MacKinnon does not like to hear of the cases she is working on and tries to be objective and stay emotionally detached. When not working she seeks solitude, she likes trekking and outdoors.