Clueless, a film written and directed by Amy Heckerling is and adaptation of Jane Austen's 19th century novel Emma. Clueless and Emma are equivalents of each other adapted to the context in which they are to be viewed and responded to. With the adaptation, the context, language and textual form has changed, although I believe the messages and themes conveyed in Clueless are essentially the messages that Jane Austen communicated to her audience in Emma. The similarities of these messages are evident when analysing the themes of social stature, vanity, transformation and deception. These themes are common to both texts and highlight the parallelism between them.
The common message of social stature and its role in society is explored through the characters of Emma and Cher, who are equivalents of each other. In both, Emma and Clueless society is structured according to wealth. Heckerling has adapted to the twentieth century culture and transformed the small, quiet village of Highbury into Beverly Hills High School. The high school itself has many sublevels, split according to wealth and beauty, much the same as Austen's town of Highbury. These sublevels rarely communicate with each other, but within there are many interactions. Emma's and Cher both wealthy and beautiful fall amongst the top level of society and their social values are reflected upon when they interact with those people outside their social circle. Emma's disproval of Mr. Martin as a husband for Harriet clearly demonstrates Emma's perspective. "The yeomanry are precisely the order of people I feel I can have nothing to do". The quote is spoken by Emma regarding Mr. Martin and his lack of social stature. Being a farmer, Emma doesn't feel obligated to associate with him. Austen is able to convey the common values of her society through Emma and her opinions of the lower class.
Tai is a new girl at the high school. Tai is somewhat a contrast to Heckerling's main characters, as she doesn't fit the conventional wealthy girl style.