Tag Archives: Educating Rita

Related text: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

1 Jul

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a film based on a novel by the same name written by Jonathan Safran Foer.  It is about a boy, Oscar, who believes his late father left him a final message hidden in New York City.  The film showcases Oscar’s journey in pursuit of this message and allows us to travel with Oscar as he finds himself.

This text would work well as a related text for AOS Discovery and ‘Exploring Transitions’ for Standard English.

AOS Discovery

As flagged in the plot overview, this is a a story about Oscar’s journey to discover something specific and, instead, learning about himself and his world.  This text has particular relevance if students wish to craft arguments around accidental discoveries, openness to discovery, and the ways in which one person’s discoveries impact others.

For other AOS Discovery related texts, click here.

Exploring Transitions

Oscar undergoes a number of transitions.  He moves, for example, from frightened to brave, closed to open, confused to certain, and from weak to strong.  Similar transformations are evident in Rita in Educating Rita.  It is, however, worthwhile noting that Rita’s transformation is intentionally and purposefully pursued.  In contrast, while Oscar’s journey is intended, it is not undertaken with the purpose of facilitating a change in self.

For other ‘Exploring Transitions’ related texts, click here.

‘Fourwalls: London’

7 Jun

My Year 12 Standard English class has just started their ‘Exploring Transitions’ unit.  As part of this unit, students are required to find a related text which, alongside their set text, can help them to illuminate ideas about transitions.

Their set text, Educating Rita, is a play that explores a woman’s journey from what she perceives as a negative or limiting working class world to a world of knowledge and sophistication.  Rita, the eponymous protagonist, sees this transition as positive.  Her Open University teacher, Frank, recognises that in making this transition Rita is losing a bit of herself.

The two sides to this narrative of transition also play out in the numerous articles about the housing crisis in London.  There, development is pushing lower-income earners out of London, and also causing some areas to lose diversity and vibrancy.  This loss of vibrancy and character is what Frank laments in Rita.  However, others see development and gentrification as ways of bettering neighbourhoods, much like Rita sees her foray into the world of education as necessarily leading to a better version of herself.

‘Fourwalls: London’‘ (by Lewish Knaggs) is a short film that has been created to illuminate the complexities and impacts of gentrification.  It would be an interesting complement to Educating Rita as it seems to present a stronger version of Frank’s sentiment namely, that transitions and transformations are not always completely positive.  Indeed, Frank would have liked for Rita to retain some authenticity, some roughness, some uniqueness, in much the same way that many would like to see transformations of London housing remain sensitive and inclusive to history and diversity.