‘Emma’ by Jane Austen

‘Emma’ by Jane Austen

I have a life goal to read as many of  the ‘classics’ as I can tolerate – especially those classics written by women about women. I had high hopes for this novel; I have always heard such wonderful things about Jane Austen. It was my first Austen since I had been forced to read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ in high school literature class and I had a vague, reminiscent feeling of enjoying that novel. Turns out, that feeling of enjoyment would not be carrying over into ‘Emma’.

As I first started reading the story, I had a cartoon-esque lightbulb go off in my head and all I could think was, ‘Silly girl, this is the same story as Clueless!’ I got all excited like I had made some conspiracy-like discovery – but turns out Amy Heckerling did actually consciously base her movie on Emma. Observe.

Clueless vs. Emma Character Comparison

‘Emma’ by Jane AustenEmma Woodhouse is a very proper, very popular, very wealthy and beautiful young girl. She is the head of her household, lovingly caring for her father – a hypocondriactic older gentleman. See the similarities between her and the fabulous Cher? Of course you do.


‘Emma’ by Jane Austen

George Knightly is Emma’s sisters husbands brother {did you follow that}; and the only person who ever challenges Emma’s self image. He is a real gentleman, who always seems to have the ‘right answers. Both Georgie-boy and Josh are dreamy in their roles


‘Emma’ by Jane Austen

Harriet Smith is a friend of Emma’s who isn’t exactly on Emma’s equal social footing. Harriet is a boob who through the course of the book throws her love around like a very battered and used teddy bear, and who blithers and giggles about. Tai Fraiser in the movie ‘Clueless’ is at first a boob and then later in the story becomes a mean, rotten bitchy girl. In conclusion, I am sure you can tell I hated both characters.


‘Emma’ by Jane Austen

In the novel, Robert Martin was a hard-working, honest, and friendly farmer. In ‘Clueless’, Travis Birkenstock was a pot-smoking, skateboarding, class clown. Both characters were incredibly lovable in the eyes of this blogger and deserved a woman much more than Tai/Harriet.


‘Emma’ by Jane Austen

Mrs. Anne Weston was Emma’s former teacher who left her to get married to a nearby neighbor. She is Emma’s best friend and normally the voice of reason in Emma’s life – although I was disturbed to realize that none of the women in this tale seemed to have much skill with logic. I think Dionne was supposed to be a sort of Anne Weston, I think.


‘Emma’ by Jane Austen

Frank Churchill was a spoiled, arrogant young man. He toyed with both Emma’s emotions – and those of his would-be bride Jane Fairfax – and thus was, in my opinion, a very unlikeable character. In ‘Clueless’, Christian Stovitz is instead a ‘hand-holding friend of Dorothy’; a lover of art, Billy Holiday, classic cars and movies, and thus is incredibly more likable. Survey says, I would take Christian over Frank any day – as I assume would most ladies.


‘Emma’ by Jane Austen

Augusta Elton is Philip Elton’s gauche and unsophisticated wife. She is loud, obnoxious, inhospitable and quite annoying – though apparently quite wealthily and thus deemed a good wife for snobby Elton. Amber is one of the most memorable characters in ‘Clueless’ – at least in my opinion – and while Amber has similar attributes to Augusta, in the movie the character comes off as significantly more humorous rather than so obnoxious.


‘Emma’ by Jane Austen

Elton and Philip Elton are the same in both name and mien – snobby, shallow, bordering on annoying characters whom have little to offer a woman other than a pretty face and I assume a nice derrière.

 


‘Emma’ by Jane Austen

Miss Bates in the story lives with her mother Mrs. Bates. Miss Bates is an unwed, bumbling, rabbling, older woman {aka a spinster} whom lives off the kindness of her friends as she seems to have some money issues. The ‘Clueless’ version, Ms. Geist is a lovable, if naive, teacher whom Cher helps find love with baldingly adorable Mr. Hall.

Now, I never say this. I mean I NEVER SAY THIS … but, the movie ‘Clueless’ is loads better than the book ‘Emma’. For once I recommend to watch the flick, and skip the book {I feel like a heathen saying this.} I found Austen’s story to be trite and boring, which I guess I should be saying the same about the movie – except Senorita Heckerling added a lot more laughs and incredibly memorable lines. But don’t fret Jane, I have a few more of your novels and am hoping they are a bit more to my liking.

2 thoughts on “‘Emma’ by Jane Austen

  1. Completely agree! Clueless is one my favorite movies, and once I discovered its ties to Emma, I loved rediscovering each character. I loved Emma when I was younger, but have since found her to be quite an irritating character that I’m left screaming, Good grief, just admit you love Mr. Knightley, and stop meddling in other peoples business! 🙂

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