Select 2 significant concerns of Austens Emma and analyse how they are reshaped to create new meaning in Heckerlings Clueless.

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The transformation of a text enables the ideas within that text to be explored as new insights into significant concerns and values are examined resulting in contextual change. Jane Austen’s 19th century Emma is appropriated into Amy Heckerling’s 20th century film Clueless by undergoing contextual shifts to accommodate a new audience. By doing so Heckerling is able to make new meaning in a text that explores universal and timeless issues such as class system and education and demonstrates that while there have been changes in context, class stability and femininity are still valued but have been reshaped to created new meaning. In Emma Austen presents the class system of the 19th century as a significant concern. The novel depicts a rigidly structured world based on wealth, property and status. However, in the 19th century context, a strict class system provided a level of stability to a society under pressure during a time of rapid change. Although Austen has been accused of ignoring the political events of her era by setting her novel in the small village of Highbury, she nonetheless addresses social stability as an important value in relation to the class system. In Austen’s stratified world, position is crucial and interaction is governed by strict protocol. Emma focuses on the gentry and life in this upper middle-class group seems highly restrictive and repressive. Human relationships and social status are based on property and wealth with outward symbols being rank, influence and status. Emma’s family, ‘the Woodhouses had long held a high place in the consideration of the neighbourhood’. Her lineage ranks her at the pinnacle of Highbury’s social strata and places her in a privileged position of influence and power. In contrast to Emma, people such as Harriet and Robert Martin belong to the ‘third tier’ of the class system. Mobility between the classes
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