Transformations: Emma and Clueless Essay

1313 Words Jul 3rd, 2010 6 Pages
The universality of themes pervading both Emma and Clueless in correlation with the humanistic, obviously flawed protagonists in both texts, captivates and immerses responders. This engagement leads to an involvement and enjoyment in the composer’s craft, which enables the responders’ to obtain sophisticated insight into the text’s concerns on both subjective and objective levels. Critiques agree that the transformation enables an audience to “enjoy cultural capital and aesthetic knowledge” while retaining a “connection to the past through classic text and cutting edge post modernism.”

Responders of both texts are positioned to see familiar values and attitudes reflected in different worlds. From a “time characterised by massive
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Emma a bildungsroman text, shows the unlikely yet self proclaimed heroine transform, through incidents of self reflexivity usually encouraged by Mr Knightley, from a strong-headed, yet naive “matchmaker” into a submissive, romantically complacent wife, the epitome of the philosophical paradigms of the 19th century.

The critique of Austen’s society is thus softened, but so too is Emma’s moral transformation. Knightley says of Emma “You are materially changed since we talked” and she replies “I hope so for at that time I was a fool.” Even so, as Knightley clearly states, she is only “materially changed” at a very superficial level. Her ways of thinking and role within society remain unaffected and the “happy endings” of the novel imply that everything will go on as usual, in the microcosmic world of Highbury, a reflection of the rigidly structured and insular 19th century society.

Critiques note that “Cher’s world is paradoxically bigger and smaller than Emma’s” her transformation can be described likewise. Her transformation is similarly superficial to Emma’s, though due to the differing contexts manifests itself in an altered way. The film medium aims to externalise the internal, so Cher’s transformation is depicted visually. We see her

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