Clueless/Emma Essay Plan

836 words - 3 pages

Introduction-"Emma" by Jane Austen and "Clueless" directed by Amy Heckerling-Fundamentally different, but recurring thematic similarities afford an appreciation of cultural fluidity and the change in ideologies.

-Transformation contemporises Austen's plot, setting, characterisation and gentle irony. Shaping new meaning alongside the universality of Austen-Transformation process allows responder to gain insights they would otherwise fail to realise, and thus enables them to compare the value system of both eras.

Setting-Emma and Cher (Alicia Silverstone) are representational products of their social environment-Emma: microcosm of upper middle-class English society. Patriarchal, class conscious and mono-cultural. Concentrated on rigid codes of propriety, wealth and status.

-Cher: multicultural, individualist and consumerist world of Beverly Hills in LA. Teen cultured world.

Tools-The values embedded within in each text are indicative of socio-cultural conventions of each context.

-Both composers use their respective cinematic and narrative tools with use of irony to satirise absurdity of certain social values and issues.

-Emma: Austen's omniscient narration. E.g: "Emma Woodhouse…seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence;"-Clueless: incongruity between images on screen and Cher's voiceover. E.g: her "way normal life for a teenager" as she proceeds to choose an outfit from a computer program.

Emma-Uses ridicule, mockery and ironic humour to condemn social vices (e.g snobbery) and condone virtue, morality and sincerity.

-Formal elevated language accommodates a more educated audience in 21st century, but norm for Austen and her literate contemporaries.

-Context affects choice of medium: film was a technological advancement yet to be made.

Clueless-Greater purpose to entertain due to context and post modern teenage audience.

-Visual medium allows Heckerling to convey social themes and values through mise-en-scene, audio techniques and symbolism (as opposed to extended dialogue and prose of Emma)Values - Consumption and Social ConductConcepts of consumerism and materialism in Clueless replace class propriety and social etiquette in Emma.

Clueless-Metafiction: focuses on extreme behaviour of its context and parodies it. Exaggerated portrayal of fashion, language and lifestyles.

-Defined by consumption, the insular enclave of Beverly Hills is the home of teen culture, the domain of the rich. Status denoted through displays of conspicuous consumption and excessive focus on body image (symbolised by recurring motif of nose jobs)-Film satirises preoccupations of precocious, spoilt, wealthy 'kids in America' and the consumerist attitudes and values that drive them. E.g Cher's almost religious attitude...

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