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The most common factor that necessitates adult education is a changing economic environment that often demands more qualifications for a good job. Rita however, is not influenced by this. She apparently does not desire a better job, as she chooses to study literature as opposed to a field that opens career doors. She is not concerned with politics, emancipation or social justice either; Rita is simply not satisfied with her life. Like most Adult learners, she has a desire for something better. She wants the better life that comes with knowledge, even if only a better way of thinking about herself.
The issues of identity and class that are common to all adult learners are also evident in Rita’s story; although at first, her tutor Frank does not understand how class defines her. He wants Rita to meet his friends, obviously well-read people, but she is reluctant because she knows her lack of a proper education is a part of who she is, and despite her desire for something more, she still holds on to this identity. She initially holds on to who she was in her past uneducated life, perhaps out of fear that she may not fit in with the educated crowd. She is reminded of the motivation behind her desire for a better education when, feeling despondent and out of place after bringing the wrong wine to a party. She goes to a local pub and realizes they sing the same old songs; nothing ever changes, and it is for this reason that she is not satisfied. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
A characteristic also attributed to adult learners is the hesitation to change previously held beliefs and opinions upon introduction of new ideologies that conflict with and force a re-evaluation of their way of thinking (Open University, 2014). Rita also presents an initial resistance to Frank’s criticisms. She has a sincere desire for education but does not realize that getting an education means learning new things and demands a change in perspective, even though hers might be right as well. As time goes by, she is more accommodative, to the point where Frank discourages her from depending too much on his line of thought. Eventually, she becomes assured of her opinions and soon realizes her autonomy, needing Frank less and less.
In the pursuit of an education, Rita goes through some intellectual and personal changes. Intellectually, Rita is exposed to new ways of thinking and a new perspective from her tutor, Frank. While she is adamant at first and refuses to accept Frank’s way of thinking, she soon conforms to his ideologies, perhaps a little too much. Rita also changes her mentality, from a state of inferiority complex to strong self-assurance, and independence to the point where although she appreciates his help, she does not need her tutor anymore. She is confident enough to argue with her classmate over the works of D. H. Lawrence. At the end of the film, she no longer calls herself Rita (a name she previously chose for herself after the popular feminist Rita Mae Brown whose work she loved) but goes back to being called Susan, her given name. She comes to realize that choosing a name in an effort to change your identity is “pretentious crap,” showing that she has matured intellectually (Gilbert, 1983).[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
The physical changes Rita experienced is in the form of her refusal to get pregnant; she secretly continues to take birth control pills despite telling her husband otherwise. Her decision might be seen to be as a result of her not wanting to conform to the stereotypical role of a housewife staying at home with the children. Rita also changes from a married woman to a divorcee, after her husband’s frustration with her desire for a better education leads to their divorce. Rita also loses her job as a hairdresser in her pursuit of the better life that comes with a good education.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Gilbert, L. (Director). (1983). Educating Rita [Motion picture]. USA.
Open University. (2014). Concepts of adult education. Milton Keynes: Open University.