Educating Rita

Rita’s Mother Character Analysis

A woman who spends her time drinking in pubs with people like Denny. When Rita has second thoughts about her academic pursuits one night, she decides to go out to a pub with her mother and Denny, who both start singing along to the jukebox. At one point, Rita’s mother dissolves into tears, complaining that they could be singing “better songs” than the ones they’re currently singing. Although Denny quickly cheers her up and gets her to start singing again, her comment resonates with Rita, inspiring her to continue her journey to educate herself and thus find a better “song” to sing.

Rita’s Mother Quotes in Educating Rita

The Educating Rita quotes below are all either spoken by Rita’s Mother or refer to Rita’s Mother. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Social Class and Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Methuen edition of Educating Rita published in 2007.
Act One, Scene Six Quotes

I’m all right with you, here in this room; but when I saw those people you were with I couldn’t come in. I would have seized up. Because I’m a freak. I can’t talk to the people I live with any more. An’ I can’t talk to the likes of them on Saturday, or them out there, because I can’t learn the language. I’m an alien. I went back to the pub where Denny was, an’ me mother, an’ our Sandra, an’ her mates. I’d decided I wasn’t comin’ here again. I went into the pub an’ they were singin’, all of them singin’ some song they’d learnt from the jukebox. An’ I stood in that pub an’ thought, just what in the name of Christ am I trying to do? Why don’t I just pack it in, stay with them, an’ join in with the singin’?

Related Characters: Rita (speaker), Frank, Denny, Rita’s Mother
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:
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Well, I did join in with the singin’, I didn’t ask any questions, I just went along with it. But when I looked round, my mother had stopped singin’, an’ she was cryin’. Everyone just said she was pissed an’ we should get her home. So we did, an’ on the way I asked her why. I said, ‘Why are y’ cryin’, Mother?’ She said, ‘Because—because we could sing better songs than those.’ Ten minutes later, Denny had her laughing and singing again, pretending she hadn’t said it. But she had. And that’s why I came back. And that’s why I’m staying.

Related Characters: Rita (speaker), Frank, Denny, Rita’s Mother
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:
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Rita’s Mother Character Timeline in Educating Rita

The timeline below shows where the character Rita’s Mother appears in Educating Rita. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One, Scene Six
Social Class and Identity Theme Icon
Self-Worth Theme Icon
...alien.” Feeling this way, she explains, she went to the pub and found Denny and her mother singing jukebox songs and getting drunk.  (full context)
Social Class and Identity Theme Icon
Self-Worth Theme Icon
...an education. She wondered why she won’t just quit and rejoin people like Denny and her mother , spending her time singing in pubs and getting drunk. “And why don’t you?” asks... (full context)
Act One, Scene Seven
Social Class and Identity Theme Icon
Mentorship Theme Icon
Institutionalized Education vs. Experiential Education Theme Icon
Self-Worth Theme Icon
...holding a suitcase. Apparently, Rita broke up with Denny, so now she’s moving in with her mother . “He said either I stop comin’ here an’ come off the pill or I... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Seven
Social Class and Identity Theme Icon
Mentorship Theme Icon
Institutionalized Education vs. Experiential Education Theme Icon
Self-Worth Theme Icon
...she now recognizes is “a bit of a wanker”—wants her to come to France, and her mother wants her to come home for Christmas. (full context)