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In Comparing The Two Texts You Will Have Become Aware Of How The Contexts Of Texts Shaped Their Form And Meaning. Of More Interest, Perhaps, Is A Comparison Of The Values Associated With Each Text

1212 words - 5 pages

Contexts in which texts are created shape the meaning and interpretation of individual writings and can often portray parallel concepts. Jane Austen’s Elizabethan novel Emma (1815) and Amy Heckerling’s cinematic adaptation, Clueless, (1990) both exemplify the thematic concerns of the complexity of relationships, self-realisation and the roles of women. Heckerling transforms a 200 year old story to suit current audiences through a recreation of the characters, language and context; despite this, presents parallel ideas. Heckerling has elegantly restructured these features from the original text, in order to be suitable for the teenage genre and create a teen comedy film. Austen’s classic ...view middle of the document...

This stems from her higher standing social class and her redundancy for the use of money from other males as she has wealth provided from her father. Whereas, other women such as Harriet and Jane, saw marriage as an important part of life as this would mean they were able to live off their husband’s income. Correspondingly, in Clueless, during a passage where the car is depicted, Cher’s unappeased facial expression, presented in an over-the-shoulder shot, in response to Elton’s dialogue “Me and you, well, makes sense”, depicts that she does not believe in the fact that the Elton’s and the Horowitz’s were in similar standings, Cher strongly disagrees and debates that she must find a more socially suitable partner for such relationship. Thus, both texts highlight worlds in which relationships and marriage are characterised by the necessity for social compatibility and how over time the values in relationships have reformed and modified but carry the equivalent message.

Emma and Clueless both examine female protagonists in contemporary and classic contexts, and therefore expose the power and control of women in patriarchal societies. Emma Woodhouse is part of the upper class society in 19th century England, while Cher Horowitz also belongs to the upper class and lives in Beverly Hills. Emma and Cher's similarities have been exemplified in the texts as both are described as being ‘handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition’; Austen’s authorial voiceover displays the stability and the social circumstances that Emma and Cher were in. Similarly, in Clueless, the opening scene of the film presents a montage, depicting Cher as a popular girl, establishing the lavish life she lives: attending parties, shopping, and the freedom she has. Each writer shows their own understanding of differing aspects of a women’s role in society. In Austen's novel, Emma has a lifestyle limited to leisure, fine arts and social gatherings. Through the use of repetition in Emma’s dialogue “If I draw less, I shall read more: if I give up music, I shall take up to carpet-work” (Chapter 10), Austen exhibits that even upper class females were restricted in their aspirations and desires to participate in activities that were seen to be for the masculine. In the same way, in Clueless, Cher’s voiceover “when a boy comes over, you always need something baking” gives an insight into how regency female domesticity has been changed into postmodern female thinking despite Cher having more access to the outside world than Emma. Hence, though the domesticity of females has been preserved in both texts and has reshaped over the time...

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