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Clueless + Emma

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ifeellost95
Words 777
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In her transformation of the Nineteenth century novel Emma by Jane Austen into the modern film Clueless, Amy Heckerling reveals how society has changed over the last two centuries. While Austen illustrates a society based on patriarchal values, where women married for financial security and social status, Heckerling depicts a society where women are more independent and a society which values consumerism. Despite the many changes in society, Heckerling makes us aware that modern society still retains many social values of Austen’s time such as the way tha modern society is still based on a type of class system.
Through the characters of the film Clueless, Heckerling makes us aware that despite America being a democratic society a class system still exists. Cher and Emma are both privileged woman born into a wealthy family and both are part of the dominant social group who take their privileges for granted. Cher’s affluent lifestyle is a product of the consumerist American society, where status is determined by wealth, popularity and image whereas Emma lives in a society where status is also determined by wealth, but background and family connections are more important. The use of the mise en scene of Cher’s bedroom and computer which assist her to select a suitable outfit for from her vast collection of clothes which satrises the consumer society of the twentieth century. The mall is described as a place of worship, it is a place where Cher can “find sanctuary…gather my thoughts and regain my strength” which emphasises how superficial and materialistic she is. Both Emma and Cher are depicted as vain. Emma who has “a disposition to think a little too well of herself” and Cher who is only said to be friends with Dionne as the “both know what it’s like to have people be jealous of” them, which reveals that the snobbery of the majority of the upper class has remained…...

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