Jane Austen's "Emma- and its modern day film version "Clueless- written and directed by Amy Heckerling, have many differences including those of context, language and textual form. While these differences are blatantly palpable, through character, plot and setting, the values, morals and messages conveyed through each text are essentially the same.
The society and time in which Emma and Clueless were composed are very dissimilar from one another. Emma was written by Jane Austen in 1815, in a society where marriage and social standing were of great consequence. In the early nineteenth century, a woman married, above all, for financial security and social acceptability. Matrimony provided a woman with a higher social rank than a spinster and the most important factor in marriage was the social standing of both partners; love was secondary. This is most certainly reflected through the character of Miss Bates and the relationship between Mr and Mrs Elton- a marriage that appears to be sustained predominantly upon the opinions of others.
Clueless however, was composed in 1995 within a society that accepted marriage for love and the fact that a woman did not have to wed in order to have financial security and respect. This can be seen through the wealth and popularity of the main character Cher, who has the respect of all of her peers and is financially stable although she is unmarried and, initially, unattached.
Although the contexts of the different times that Emma and Clueless were composed alter considerably from one another, the themes of vanity, marriage, deception, social rank and social values, and are still communicated through both texts.
Due to the opposing contexts of Emma and Clueless, the language used in each also differs markedly.
Jane Austen uses comparatively formal language in Emma while Heckerling utilizes 1990's colloquialisms in her film Clueless to show that while society and its values have altered dramatically since the composition of Emma in 1815, the content of the text, during its transformation into a modern day piece, essentially remains the same.