THE BASIC PROBLEMS
Rita's past experience is deeply rooted in her working class background. She is familiar with pubs, beers, movies, pornography and popular fiction. She realises that there is something she doesn't understand, that in a way she is not free. She wants to change, wants a better way of living, but doesn't really know how to achieve it. She rejects her working class origin and changes her name.
Willy Russel uses irony to point out the differences between Rita's world and Franks. (Irony is based on contrast). Rita is a breath of fresh air in Frank's disillusioned and stagnating world. (the 'handle'- scene). She feels that this is not her world and that Frank's world may not accept her (not a proper university) . Nevertheless she realised that Frank does not really fit into that other world either. (He throws students out of the window). He's different - He's some qualities which she as a working class memeber can appreciate (He's a Flora Man). But he understands the other world, too (he can swear and knows that it's only words). That's why she thinks, he's the ideal teacher for her.
They are different all right, but just that gives them the chance to learn from each other. Frank might also learn from Rita (if only that, if the door needs oiling, you should "get on with it"!)
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