Using a ‘thinking tool’ (a mind map, a Venn diagram, a table) compare a scene from Emma with a scene from Clueless. (40%) Realization that Emma (Cher) is in love with Mr. Knightley (Josh) AND Emma’s realization that she is in love with Mr. Knightley
Coming to the realization that she is in love with Mr. Knightley. As Harriet and Emma are conversing over who Harriet is not in love with, when Emma asks in astonishment ‘Are you speaking of – Mr. Knightley?’ A pause in the sentence shows that Austen is trying to show the readers the emotions that Emma is now processing.
Cher is walking home and wonders why Tai is in love with Josh but more so why is she thinking so much about this issue; Cher is extremely confused about her feelings at this point. Heckerling directs a confused and perplexed Cher to show audiences that she is still unaware of her emotions at this point. Cher is seen to have confused facial expressions and a sluggish posture and through this the audience is able to uncover that Cher is baffled, as she is unable to define her feelings.
Through Harriet’s confession Emma comes to the realization of her true feelings. “It darted through her with the speed of an arrow, that Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself.” This simile underlines the suddenness of Emma’s realization and is the culmination of Emma’s ‘getting of wisdom’ throughout the novel.
When Cher is walking from the DMV she starts to wonder why she is so worked up about Harriet crushing on Josh, and as she is about to walk into her house she realizes she is in love with Josh, like the novel’s “it darted through her with the speed of an arrow” the water and lights of the fountain light up/shoot up into the air like she had just realized something.
During Emma’s thought process of Harriet and Mr. Knightley’s potential relationship Emma realizes that she’s turned a once “humble’ Harriet into a vain person.
“What did I do? I created a monster.” Cher is beginning grasp the ramifications of her previous actions to ‘change’ Tai. In this scene we are able to see a change in Tai she is no longer the humble “clueless” new girl, but has somehow morphed into a Cher, with her checkered skirt blazer ensemble she struts out of Cher’s home saying “I’m Audi” and the audience can’t help but notice the similarities of this scene from the scene where Cher leaves Dionne and says the exact same thing “I’m Audi”.
‘Have you any idea of Mr. Knightley returning your affection?’ Emma asks as she is still in a daze from what she had just heard from Harriet. Austen portrays Emma as being in a daze as we are able to read Emma’s thought process, described by Austen as to be ‘instantly withdrawn’ and ‘silently mediating’ Emma at this point will realize her feelings for Mr. Knightley.
Tai confesses that she likes Josh and Cher half-heartedly replies with a forced smile, “do you think that he likes you?” Cher in this scene is shown to have a puzzled facial expression and it seems she may be hiding some feelings beneath what she is saying.
‘She saw it with all clearness which had never blessed her before’ Emma is starting to realize all the mistakes and misjudgments she had made. This extract from the novel also shows a growing maturity within Emma, she is now able to see the mistakes in which she has made and also her miscalculations when arranging/forming relationships. Austen is trying to show the readers that Emma is no longer clueless; she is now able to see through her true feelings and past mistakes.
“Everything I think and everything I do is wrong, I was wrong about Elton, I was wrong about Christian. Now Josh hated me, it all boiled down to one evitable conclusion, I was just totally clueless”. Like the title of the movie Cher is able to redeem herself through admitting that she was “totally clueless” Cher is able to mature more.
When Emma states that Mr. Knightley wouldn’t declare his feelings to anyone in public or give gestures of being in love. Emma is trying to discourage Harriet’s feelings for Mr. Knightley. Austen is showing Emma to be protective of Mr. Knightley.
Cher also tries and discourages Tai’s feelings for Josh, claiming that Josh is like a “school nerd”. “I just don’t think you’d mesh well together”. Like the novel, Emma tries to deter Tai from forming a relationship with Josh.
In two short paragraphs (no more than 600 words total) compare the treatment of a theme common to both texts. (40%) A theme that is consistent in both pieces is the theme of social classes. Austen’s novel is concerned with eligible marriage. Austen’s novels are concerned with eligible marriages Heckerling’s film deals with eligible boyfriends/girlfriends. Heckerling shows the different classes by giving Cher a home in uptown Beverly Hills while Tai is from Brooklyn and has a strong Brooklyn accent. Austen displays the theme of social classes through Emma stating that it would be absurd for Mr. Knightley and Harriet to form a relationship as they have far too different social statuses, “. Emma in the novel places high regard for social status and often makes reference to it; (When Mr. Knightley reprimands Emma for demeaning Miss Bates publically, he states that because of her social status Emma should be empathetic and sympathetic towards Misses Bates rather then demean her.) Austen repeatedly does this to enforce the importance of this particular theme. When Mr. Knightley explains to Emma why Robert Martin and Harriet would be a good match and why, he explains to Emma that Harriet is not that much better then Mr. Martin, if not worse, he believes that they would suit each other on the basis that they are on the same social spectrum. When Cher is introducing Tai to Beverly Hills High school she shows Tai the different groups amongst the school, Cher decides who would be eligible for Tai on the basis of their popularity within the school. Austen shows the difference of status through power and wealth while Heckerling conveys the message of social standings through popularity within the schoolyard.
Both Austen and Heckerling choose to display the themes of social classes in their films/texts however they just choose to convey it in different ways. It is apparent that the theme is largely recognized and considered throughout the film and novel.
In one paragraph, compare Austen’s language to the language of Clueless. (20%) Both Austen and Heckerling are adept at capturing the detail of dialogue and interaction. Both use irony as a means to show meaning behind the words in which they use. When they are at the dance Cher states that Amber is a “total Monet” meaning that she only looks pretty from afar, when closely looked she isn’t very pretty, Austen is also a big user on wordplay, words like ‘engaged’ when used by Austen shows a double meaning, and has an implied meaning behind it. Both writer and director use the theme of irony in order to show the difference between appearance and reality. The difference between Austen and Heckerling’s use of language is that Austen’s style is much more formal whereas Heckerling has modernized the language, e.g. using “Audi”, “cake boy” and the infamous “Whatever”. Another difference in Heckerling’s work is she is able to use visual stimuli to further explore her ideas, for example when Cher is being held hostage in the parking lot, there is a huge clown beside her showing that she has been made a fool of. Behind the language of Clueless the audience is shown where Heckerling gets her ideas from, she would asks the actors and actresses “what they would say if they saw a pretty girl?” This revolutionized and modernized the language that she was able to use within the film. The language used in Emma the novel and Clueless the film are alike when identifying language techniques like puns or irony however there are differences in which they express ideas and thoughts.