What are the similarities between the journey of the two women in the movies, Shirley Valentine and Educating Rita?
We watched the two movies Shirley Valentine and Education Rita and we are now asked to compare Shirley from the movie Shirley Valentine with Rita in the movie Educating Rita.
The previous post was very strong. I would just like to add that both films feature protagonists who must engage in a struggle between their socially constructed roles and their own sense of self. There is a definite theme in both films about how the external and the subjective might feature different visions of self and a choice having to be made between both conceptions. Shirley has to reevaluate not only her marriage, but who she is in it. She has to evaluate how this vision of her identity is in comparison to the one brought out while in the Greek Islands. Rita/ Susan has to fully grasp who she is as a hairdresser and then who she is as a student and in both settings assess who she is and who she wishes to be. Both have her engaging in an examination of her own subjective in the external realms of marriage/ hairdresser and academics. In both films, the central characters have to engage in a reconciliation between external reality and subjective conception.
Both films feature women who are poorly educated and have little confidence in their ability to better themselves. Rita is ignited by the desire to better herself academically, even though her background shows little in the way that she will succeed. However, her own passion to understand literature helps to fuel her burned-out professor's rediscovered love of teaching. Shirley is a bored housewife whose husband pays little attention to her and expects even less from her. When she decides to take a vacation to the Greek isles, she rediscovers her female sensuality and realizes that she still has a great deal to offer the world--and the right man. Both movies emphasize the roles of women who have been relegated to a second-class status by their male-dominated society but whose strengths of intellect and character are waiting to break free.