Clueless For A Modern Western Teenage Audience Essay

1507 Words Aug 22nd, 2015 7 Pages
Composers often transform texts to adapt them in a way considered to be more suitable for a desired audience and to convey new meaning. Jane Austen’s 1815 novel, Emma, has been transformed in Amy Heckerling’s 1995 film, Clueless for a modern Western teenage audience. Emma and Clueless both stand as reflections of their time; that of Regency England and postmodern America respectively. While the general plot line remains, Heckerling has adapted the refined country setting of Highbury, England to the fast-paced and commercialised society of twentieth century California, to reveal the changes in attitudes, values and beliefs over time, particularly in regards to the perception of marriage, social stature and propriety as well as the role of women and men in society.

Emma is a study of Regency England where the notion of a hierarchical class structure was ever present. This is reflected through the setting of the novel in the upper classes of Highbury, a fitting name for the small, insular country town, showing the clear distinctions between those of wealth and the rest of society. Emma, through both her family ties with her father, Mr Woodhouse, and her later marriage to Mr Knightley, stands at the top of the class structure within Highbury. Emma’s stature is made clear through the title of the novel which is an eponym of her name. The title as the sole and single word “Emma”, signifies her grandeur and status. Emma’s position in society makes it evident that one’s stature in…

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