"Emma" / "Clueless" Essay.

Essay by marydHigh School, 12th gradeA+, October 2005

download word file, 5 pages 1.3

Downloaded 70 times

"Emma" and "Clueless" are equally as effective at exposing the mores of their time. The differences due to the medium, audience and the social context in which the texts were composed do not make one more valid than the other. In regards to depictions of the protagonist's development, class structure and social responsibility both Austen and Heckerling use techniques to effectively convey their views to the audience and reflect their societies. Heckerling uses the transformation in order to depict modern teen America as sexually liberated, generous country where social mobility is possible.

Emma's development is morally focussed as feminine virtue and modesty was valued in the Regency period. Austen introduces Emma's faults through authorial comment - "[she had] the power of having rather too much her own way and a disposition to think a little too well of herself." These defects lead Emma to begin the novel misreading many situations such as Frank Churchill's affections.

Jane Austen uses dramatic irony to expose Emma's misconceptions, satirising her self-importance. Jane Austen uses dramatic irony to expose Emma's misconceptions whilst entertaining the reader by satirising Emma's self-worth. Emma's interior monologue analyses Frank's agitation as meaning "he was more in love with her than Emma had supposed", whereas the audience soon realises Frank is actually in love with Jane and we laugh at Emma's self-importance. It is when Frank's situation is revealed that Emma reaches an emotional crisis - "How to understand the deceptions she had been...living under!" - the exclamation point highlighting her distress. This in turn makes her realise how "she had brought evil on Harriet" and the use of the almost biblical term "evil" has definite moralistic connotations. From this time on Emma begins to be a 'better' person and now feels "pain" at having made Harriet unhappy...