Transformation- Clueless and Emma
The 1990s have seen Jane Austin novels become more popular than ever. Hollywood, as is its custom, has followed suit, bringing to the screen several Oscar-nominated films faithfully based upon the author's works during that decade. Why would our modern society still be charmed by these novels, written by a woman who never married or even traveled outside England? How can these 200 year-old stories be relevant to our jaded culture? Probably because, despite all the radical social changes that have taken place since Jane Austen's time, people haven't really changed all that much. Heckerling’s film Clueless, an adaptation of Emma, shows that although society’s values have changed, the status quo still exists and is just as rigid nowadays as it was in the nineteenth century. However, because Clueless is set in a different time to Emma and because Heckerling uses a different medium to Austin, there are bound to be changes between the two texts. Heckerling uses voice overs to tell the audience Cher’s thoughts and the challenges that she faces in life. This is different to Emma, as Austin uses an omniscient narrator, which explains all of the different character’s thoughts. The voice over creates a bias as Cher is the only character who is allowed to speak directly to the audience. Heckerling uses this bias to allow viewers to have an insight into a stereo typical teenage girl’s life. “I feel like such a heifer. I had two bowls of Special K, 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, 5 peanut butter M&M's and like 3 pieces of licorice.” This differs from Emma as we do not see directly into Emma’s thoughts but they are instead relayed to us by the narrator. By using the voice overs Heckerling is able to show Cher’s motives. Some of the motives behind what Emma does are overlooked by Austin as Emma herself does not get to speak to the audience. “If a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to...
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