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Emma vs Clueless. Amy Heckerlings Clueless and Austens Emma both explore the themes of marriage, social class and feminism.

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Introduction

´╗┐Angela Ni 11EX4 Transforming Emma into Clueless To what extent has the composer of the contemporary text appropriated the ideas and values contained in the earlier text to say something new? Angela Ni 11EX4 ________________ Transforming Emma into Clueless They may be nearly two hundred years apart, yet Amy Heckerling?s Clueless and Austen?s Emma both explore the themes of marriage, social class and feminism. Amy Heckerling has transformed and appropriated many of the values and ideas evident in Austen?s 1816 novel, Emma. The transformation of the novel allows new ideas to be presented, due to the change in values over the last centuries. Because of the vast contrasting contexts of the two texts, many themes and values present during the Romantic Period were changed to adapt to the social discourse of the 1990?s ? Heckerling?s time period. Contrasting views and ideas are portrayed and influenced by the context in which each text is contained. Marriage, being the social goal of females in Austen?s society, is a convention, which usually allows a gain in property or land, guarantees financial security and respectability in the community. ...read more.

Middle

Just as Emma acts against the social expectation of her generation, Cher acts against hers. Tai accuses ?Why should I listen to you anyways? You?re just a virgin who can?t drive!? This statement shows that the loss of one?s virginity and the ability to drive can make someone in the 20th century less authoritative because of their lack of experience. Virginity wasn?t an issue in 19th century Britain as a woman was expected to lose their virginity after their marriage to their husband only. If one did happen to lose their virginity, they wouldn?t be a respected part of society anymore and cast down to the bottom of the social hierarchy because they weren?t pure anymore. Both Emma and Cher choose different ways to rebel against their society, marrying for love and choosing virginity respectively. The social hierarchy in 19th century society was extremely rigid and not only determined by one?s inherited wealth but also their breeding. Emma, the reader learns, is at the top of hers: ?Emma Woodhouse, handsome, rich, clever, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings in existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her?. ...read more.

Conclusion

Feminism is a prominent idea present in both texts. ?Emma? was set in a patriarchal society, and although her father was not a strong patriarchal figure, Mr Knightly instead fills that role. He upholds his place during the Box Hill incident as well as chiding her for her immaturity. In Clueless, Cher is allowed much more personal freedom than Emma, yet within her own household, she is still controlled by her father. Both female protagonists rely on their father for their wealth and social standing. In some ways, Cher can be seen as having less female power than Emma even though she lived in modern society where female have gained more rights. Her father reprimands her for sitting in his chair and for her parking tickets and Josh is her saviour as he rescues her that night in the Valley. Amy Heckerling has appropriated many of the ideas of marriage, social hierarchy and feminism from Jane Austen?s 1816 novel, Emma. The contrast in the context in which the texts were written and produced emphasises that many of the fundamental values and ideas have been left unchallenged by time while other ideas such as homosexuality and multiculturalism have been introduced and accepted. ...read more.

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