Since coming back from summer school Rita has changed quite dramatically. She is now much more widely read and more articulate with her words. She has adopted a completely new way of thinking and contemplating things.
She has gained some self-discipline and this is demonstrated in Act 2 Scene 1: "... this tutor came up to me, he looked at the book in me hand an' he said "ah are you fond of Ferlinghetti? " it was right on the tip of me tongue to say, "only when it's served with Parmesan cheese", but, Frank I didn't.
.. " Rita has learnt to hold her tongue in certain situations as she has shown here.However as the scene goes on we can see that Rita has also gained some undesirable characteristics. Without her realising she has become pretentious she no longer has respect for books the way she used to. "She tosses the book on the desk on the UP left bookcase.
" When Willy Russell says, "she tosses... " it is suggesting that it is fine to handle books in an ostentatious manner. She used to value each book she had and read. Rita no longer wants to belong to "the masses" she wants to belong to the middle class.
She is now conforming to a stereotypical student picture.Rita has purchased second hand clothes just like a "proper student" would, as they are popular among students. She said she would not procure any new clothing until she finished the course; nonetheless Rita has embraced the ways of the students. It is almost like she is wearing a costume because she is no longer being true to herself.
She may feel like a student but on the other hand she seems to be having an identity crisis, it begs the question is Rita now simply wearing a costume. Moreover Rita has become extremely glib about certain aspects of her education.The best example of this is when Frank and Rita were discussing Blake in Act 2 Scene 1: Frank: So you've already done Blake? You covered all the Songs of innocence and experience? Rita: of course you don't do Blake without doing innocence and experience, do y'? Rita is brushing off the subject too quickly; she has acquired a more superior manner, with which Frank is not happy with. Rita seems to feel the need to change her surrounding environment as well as her personality. In this case she has chosen Frank. Frank however is not oblivious to Rita's ways.
He senses that Rita is trying to conform him to her standards he questions her about this: "Are you trying to reform me? " the fact that Frank questions her is almost patronising as he himself is also changing. Towards the end of Act 2 Scene 2 Frank is using some of Rita's colloquialisms: Rita: Honest? Frank: Dead honest. Rita has influenced Frank in many ways her speech being one of them but she has also made him see that there is a point to life. Frank was one of Rita's main inspirations, but since coming back from summer school Rita has found inspiration elsewhere.In this regard Rita's new inspiration is in the form of a character called Trish. Though we never meet Trish we hear an awful lot about her.
Rita looks up to Trish and almost idolises her. Rita is too wrapped up in her own world to realise that she is becoming exactly what she said she would not be. She is becoming tremendously conceited. In Act 2 Scene 2 there is a sense of irony when Rita says: "...
tryin' to compare Chatterley with Sons and lovers is like tryin' to compare sparkling wine with champagne... "Rita has acquired so much confidence while she was at summer school. She is now constantly asking questions and has more of a positive attitude.
This is probably because she has obtained more knowledge and to Rita knowledge may not necessarily mean power, but it does mean she is one step higher in the social ladder. However Rita is normally accustomed to avoiding the "proper students" she was also as Frank put it " ... you used to be quite wary of them didn't you?.
.. " (Act Scene 2) Now that she is more confident she is bordering between being confident and superior.As the play continues we can tell that as each scene goes by Frank is getting covetous and more wary about Rita. As Rita is becoming more educated her relationship with Frank is facing a crisis: " It struck me that there was a time when you told me everything.
" As they continue to discuss the situation it is clear that Frank dislikes what Rita has become, she accuses him of not being able to accept that she has changed for the better since he first met her, which in some ways is true. "... what you can't bear is that I am educated now.
What's up, Frank, don't y' like me now that the little girl's grown up... Rita has changed in many ways since returning from her time spent in summer school. She has acquired more knowledge but has also become pretentious.
She has the confidence to be able to talk to the "proper students" and simply dismissed them as spouting rubbish. Frank is aware that Rita has changed and is in some ways jealous of Rita's popularity with the students. He very much dislikes that Rita has become just like the other students she is no longer unique, and has lost her quirkiness, however this was exactly what Frank said he would do. "Rita I'm going to have to change you"