In this essay I am going to look at the theme of class. This essay will examine the diverse background of the characters. I will also consider the use of language and education, and culture in the development of the play.
I want to firstly look at the two main characters in the play. Russell portrays Rita as a 26 year old working class girl. She has a poor education through the state system, and like her peers, she uses slang, she shortens her sentences and swears in normal conversation, for example:.
"Look at those tits."" page 15.
"Haven't y' read it yet?- page 21.
"D'y' wanna lend it?- page 21.
These quotes highlight Rita's inability to use standard English. .
I will now consider Frank. I find it interesting the author does not go into great detail about Frank's background and education. Frank is obviously well educated. This is shown by his use of standard English. His vocabulary is bigger than Rita's. Frank does not use swear words. He uses full and more complex sentences, for example:.
"appalling teaching is quite in order for most of my appalling .
"Do you think I could have a cigarette?- page 26.
"Criticism is never subjective-, page 33.
Rita is not always able to understand Frank's style of speech. His use of standard English is not something a working class girl is used to hearing. Here is an early example from an exchange at the beginning of the play:.
Frank: You are?.
Rita: What am I?.
Rita: I'm a what?.
Rita: That's a nice picture, isn't it? Page 14.
Rita uses the change of subject in the example above, as a means of covering her inability to understand Frank's correct form of speech.