The Transformation Of Social Structure, Values And Personal Relationships

1471 Words6 Pages
Modern society is believed to be a place of equality and justice, where race, gender and sexuality play no part in the judgement of an individual’s character. But are our values really as developed as we believe? The transformation of Austen’s Emma to Clueless highlights the fixed nature of our social structure, values and personal relationships. Through this comparison it becomes evident that many of our current beliefs are not as dissimilar to Austen’s period as we may have thought. Emma depicts marriage as the focus of a women’s life with all achievements and skills of a woman being employed to further her marriage prospects. It is clearly evident that this is not the case in a contemporary society, however it is still apparent in many…show more content…
“she knows how much the marriage is to Miss Taylor’s advantage.” With both protagonists succumbing to the attitudes of their time the texts can be said to promote the status quo, displaying no real signs of feminism. Overall the film can be viewed as conservative as marriage and love are still presented as the ultimate goal for a woman. Heckerling and Austen employ their texts as a means to explore the role of women in a patriarchal society. In doing so the transformation of the Emma has emphasised how the role of women has only changed in trivial, with the centre of a woman’s world still being focussed on marriage and relationships. We live in a period where change is considered a common occurrence, but in society, how much is really changed, and how much remains the same? Through the transformation of Austen’s 19th century novel, Emma to Heckerling’s ‘teenpick’ film Clueless we are able to gain an insight into the unchanging nature of our values. Heckerling effectively modernizes and adapts the values explored in Emma through the identification of social hierarchies, gender roles and moral reformation in modern society. In doing so she connects 19th century regency values with the values of 1990’s America. This transformation not only allows us to draw connections about modern society but also provides further understanding of the themes and values explored in Emma, and
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