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A Comparison Of Emma By Jane Austen And Movie Clueless

1768 words - 7 pages

A Comparison of Emma by Jane Austen and Movie Clueless

The film Clueless, written and directed by Amy Heckerling, is an
adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Emma and closely parallels the story
in terms of character development and action. Although Emma was
written in 1816 and developed ideas and issues of that period in time,
180 years on we can still recognize and identify with the exact same
issues. This just proves that despite all the radical social changes
that have taken place since Jane Austen's time, people and life
haven't really changed all that much. The general life issues of
money, love, friendship, class and finding ones place in the world are
raised in both texts.

From the very beginning of both movies, we can see the similarities
between the two main characters. Emma Woodhouse, the protagonist in
Emma, is part of the rich, upscale society of a large and populous
village called Highbury, in nineteenth century England; while Cher
Horowitz lives in rich, upscale Beverly Hills, U.S.A. In both Clueless
and Emma, both of the main characters, Cher and Emma, are spoiled,
high-class snobs who are looked upon with admiration and popularity by
all. Cher and Emma are among the cultural elite and because of their
wealth and class they are spoiled and tend to think too highly of
themselves.

Relationships are one of the key issues raised and explored in both
texts. One of the relationships explored is that between the daughter
and her father. Both Emma and Cher have a close yet out of the
ordinary relationship with their father, as each girl is the apple of
their fathers' eye and can do no wrong. And both Emma's and Cher's
fathers are very generous with not only their love but also their
money and constant compliments. But with these compliments and cash
comes a certain amount of snobbery and I believe that it is the
fathers' over-indulgence in their daughters that has caused this.

It is here that the real problems of both Cher's and Emma's situations
come to light. Both girls have the habit of getting rather too much
their own way and a disposition to think a little too highly of
themselves. In both movies the girls' mothers died when they were
quite young and at first viewing do not have a major part in either
movie. But at second glance we can begin to see the root of the
fathers over-indulgence. Because of their wealth, Emma and Cher are
spoiled, in control socially, and tend to think too highly of
themselves. This is a result of the lack of a maternal figure in their
lives and the fact that their fathers and governess (in Emma's case)
were too lenient and indulgent during their upbringing.

Another branch of the relationship issue that is shown in both movies
is friendship, and follows on from the issue of Cher's and Emma's
wealth and power. The snobbery of both...

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