The classic novel of Jane Austen, Emma, and the post-modern film Clueless by Amy Heckerling, offers a satirical view of their respective culture, with a critical emphasis on the societal egalitarian system and the limited influence and autonomy of women in patriarchal cultures. Austen tries to ridicule the ways in which their ideas were built according to class, marriage, and gender norms by the upper class during the Regency period. She also reflects on women being powerless in a world run by men where their destiny is decided automatically.
Whereas the interpretation of Heckerling fulfilled its function of challenging its advancement as a society in terms of the ideals of social standing and the ultimate control of men, but also of preserving the versatility of values. Values and concerns may not have shifted or been reshaped within culture, but the societal perspective has changed.
In Emma, Austen illustrates the social class system and its significance to the Regency Period by discussing the inflexibility of boundary-creating ideals. The social hierarchy system is generated by generations’ hereditary wealth and the desire to maintain these levels in order to preserve status.