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In the transformation of Jane Austens Novel Emma to Amy Heckerlings post-modern teen-flick Clueless the universal themes have been adapted to suit a wider modern audience It is through studying the process of transformation that we can compare the characterisation and examine the composers social commentary on their context This leads not only to a greater appreciation of both texts but also demands a reassessment of values Emma depicts life in Highbury a microcosm of nineteenth century England where social hierarchy land manners and marriage plays an important part in all aspects of life especially the role of each person in society Austen comments on what is important for a woman in the nineteenth century through Miss Bates describing her as having a most uncommon degree of popularity for a woman neither young handsome rich nor married This shows a stark contrast to Emma who enjoys excellent prospects as she is handsome clever and rich with a comfortable home and happy disposition The novel is told from Emmas point of view however Austen uses wit and authorial intrusion to satirise Emmas misconceptions of herself The readers discover that Emmas having very little to distress or vex her was a satirical comment and simply Emmas view of herself The novel portrays the heroines youthful impetuosity and misguided attempts to shape the lives of others through the voice of an omniscient narrator The readers are enlightened on Emmas faults that she will need to overcome before developing into a truly ideal woman In the film Clueless Austens use of wit and authorial intrusion has been replaced by the visual impact delivered from cinematography techniques Heckerlings appropriation of Emma reflects the paradigms of the modern society but the new medium and context has made it more accessible to a modern audience The film medium allows the introduction to the world of Heckerlings characters through a quick and energetic montage showing a series of clips reflecting teenage
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