How has Emma been transformed into Clueless?
Jane Austen’s 1816 novel Emma has been transformed by Amy Heckerling into the 1995 film Clueless, allowing the audience to gain a greater understanding of both social contexts. This transformation is evident through the analysis of characters including Mr. Knightley to Josh and Mr Elton to Elton. Themes of social hierarchy, class, money and dominance of the patriarchy have also been adapted to suit Clueless’ context.
Mr. George Knightley is a model of the upper class landed gentry and is depicted as being the epitome of wealth and class in Highbury. This is demonstrated through his name “Knightley”, as well as his first name being in reference to that of King George of England. He is a sensible man of thirty-seven and the concept of noblesse oblige was part of the moral belief of a gentleman of his rank, a notion of which he never falters from. Emma Woodhouse says of him to Harriet Smith “You will not see one in a hundred, with gentleman so plainly written as in Mr Knightley.” Throughout the novel Mr. Knightley can be seen being both sympathetic and protective of the female characters including Miss Bates, Jane Fairfax, Harriet and Emma, even though he often disapproves of her behaviour which is emphasised from the very first conversation with her where he corrects her over-exaggerations. His love for Emma is the only cause for his lapses in judgement and self-control – for example when he decides he doesn’t like Frank Churchill before he has met him, a clear depiction of jealousy. He uses his intelligence to promote is beliefs of helping others and has higher concerns over others than himself.
Mr. Knightley has been transformed into Josh Lucas for the film Clueless. There are many similarities and differences between the characters that allow Josh to fit into the modern day context of a Beverly Hills teen drama. Rather than being cast as Emma’s brother-in-law as Mr. Knightley is in the novel,...