Kings Speech/ Educating Rita Essay Emily Alwin
Rita feels stuck and unfulfilled in her world, desiring to discover herself and change her life, attaining an education. This idea is evident in the dialogue, “I’ve been realisin for ages that I was… slightly out of step”, which reflects Rita’s awareness that she no longer fits comfortably in her old world and also displays how she has a positive attitude towards stepping into the new world.
Throughout the play, there are barriers that restrict Rita from transitioning into the educated lifestyle. The idiomatic language, “You’re bleedin mad arn’t y’”, suggests the accent of the lower class northern region of England, establishing her language as the first barrier that restrains her entry into the world she wants to access. The door to franks room, is also a symbolic barrier that represents both the coming and going between worlds, and Rita’s inability to open it stresses her struggles to transition easily.
Transitioning into the new world is difficult for Rita and at some points, leaves her feeling displaced. At the pub with her family, Rita reveals, “we can sing better songs”, which highlights her now small existence in the old world, but shows how she still longs for the acceptance in the new. Rita feels detached, “…I’m an alien”, and through the symbolic window within Franks room, she admires the world she does not yet belong to.
In order for Rita to effectively move into the world, she must make sacrifices to force the breakdown of these barriers. Giving up smoking, changing her clothes and Denny kicking her out, are all symbolic of the changes Rita undergoes to attain her place in this world. The irony however, in the statement “I can have a mind of my own cant I”, accentuates how Rita has learnt the rules of this world, made the changes, but in doing so has lost herself, and all the things that made the warm, unpretentious Rita.
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