Transformation Requires The Original Text To Be Changed. In What Ways Has Emma Been Changed Into Clueless? To What Extent Was This Unavoidable?

1222 words - 5 pages

Transformation comes in many different forms. In the transformation from Emma to Clueless the viewer experiences a number of changes. Things such as the change of medium, culture, setting and target audiences are all common when transforming a text and the transformation between Emma and Clueless is no exception.The most noticeable change between texts is the change from a novel to a film. This form of change has many implications for the viewer. In Emma, Austen provides the reader with very lengthy descriptions. What may take Austen pages to describe is presented by Heckerling in Clueless in a mere shot. This is very evident in the texts. In Clueless Cher (Alica Silverstone) simply has to do a voice over with the words "Isn't my house classic?" whilst the viewer looks at her placial mansion to give the viewer an exact image of the house in which Cher lives. In Emma Austen devotes pages to the description of her abode not only giving us a straight description before we encounter dialogue but also by adding in various remarks through the characters dialogue and narrative comments.The change between novel and film gives us another way of looking at things. Where as in a novel we are only guided by the author, in a movie our opinions can be formulated through a variety of different methods. Things such as colour, tone of voice, expressions and actions can only be described by the author where as in a film we can see and therefore interpret these things ourself. Another thing is the use of sound. Often in films the viewer is encounters music and sound which help represent the mood. In Austens Emma the party thrown by Frank Churchill can only be described, forcing the reader to rely upon the literary skills of Austen. However in Clueless the viewer is present with a barrage of information through lighting, music, sound effects and actions.Another aspect of the change between Emma and Clueless is the change in culture. Austen wrote Emma in the late 1700's. As such Emma was written for a "˜proper' society which was ruled by tradition. Women were subservient to men, many people called their peers Mr or Mrs, promiscuity was exceedingly low, and the expectations upon people were very strict. Contrasting this with Clueless the viewer sees a society of fast cars, girls wearing "˜revealing' attire, the presentation of homosexuality and a change in social interaction. The biggest change in culture is the change in the views of sex and marriage. In Clueless the viewer is presented with a much more liberal society. Cher almost throws herself at Christian in a vain effort for him to like her, contemplating sex with someone who she doesn't even know about. Also the viewer is told that after the incident on the LA freeway, Dione virginity goes from "˜technical to non-existent'. However in Emma, Emma says "Impossible! "“ I never can all you anything but "˜Mr Knightley'", to the gentleman she is becoming engaged to. We are never...


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