While she may have never picked up Emma, Silverstone illustrates in this comment why she and so many others are drawn to the text today: both Emma and Cher, the protagonist of Clueless, subscribe to social "rules" while subverting the expectations of their world through the assertion of free will. This dynamic hinges on one condition: the characters’ choices must conveniently live up to society’s demands. Cher and Emma are allowed to be individuals because they are ideal characters. Silverstone makes clear that while a heroine is allowed to "be who she is," such freedom comes only to those who embody a prescribed paradigm and who will make decisions that perpetuate social stability. Austen’s work lends itself to a particular social environment searching for a balance between mutating social convictions. Therefore, the fact that recent popular culture is "having an unprecedented love affair with all things Austen" (Mitchell) demands investigation.
The 1993 hit film Clueless, written and directed by Amy Hecklering, exemplifies how popular culture re-appropriates Austen’s novels to serve updated agendas. As a novel of manners, Emma creates a space between competing ideological extremes of the late eighteenth century. During this period the traditional "aristocratic ideology,"1 based on a hierarchy of social birthright, began to clash with a "progressive ideology" emerging from burgeoning notions of individualism and capitalism. Emma exists as a text enmeshed in this debate and presents a tenuous equilibrium upholding... [continues]
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(2008, 05). Emma and Clueless. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 05, 2008, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Emma-Clueless-149369.html
"Emma and Clueless" StudyMode.com. 05 2008. 05 2008 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Emma-Clueless-149369.html>.
"Emma and Clueless." StudyMode.com. 05, 2008. Accessed 05, 2008. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Emma-Clueless-149369.html.