Emma and Clueless Transformation Essay

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Transformations Essay “The Study of transformation explores the tension between continuity and change. “ Explore how this statement is true. Amy Heckerling’s film, Clueless, as a transformation of Jane Austen’s novel, Emma, explores the tension between continuity and change. Emma, written in the early 1800s, reflects the values and class hierarchy of the Regency period. Heckerling’s film has transformed Emma into a dramatic twentieth century teen flick that both exemplifies and undercuts the contemporary culture of 1990s Los Angeles defined by consumption and appearance while still maintaining aspects of Emma’s narrative and characterisation. The juxtaposition of the two texts allows the audience to identify the tension between continuity and change through the use of the female protagonist who portrays the flaws of human nature. Jane Austen’s novel begins with, “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich.” This highlights the attributes that were most desired at the time of 19th century Highbury, England. However, Jane Austen’s context had a class hierarchy with males that had inherited wealth at the top. This patriarchal society represented in Emma portrays the importance of marriage for women as it was their only means of financial security as well as the advancement of their position in society. ‘Emma’ had none of the “Usual inducements of women to marry,” because she had inherited wealth. Austen presents us to this world sympathetically as she uses an omniscient narrator that looks at everything from Emma’s perspective which is quite similar to Clueless as Heckerling’s voice-overs are created by Cher, which gives us an insight into her meddlesome ways. Emma still understood the importance of marriage for lower class women because she takes a girl of lower class under her wing, Harriet Smith, and tries to raise her status in society and find
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