Essay on Movies: Sociology and Social Standing

Submitted By aj929
Words: 1162
Pages: 5

Scene Analysis in ‘Clueless”
The release of the movie ‘Clueless’ in 1995 was the onset of an intriguing debate on how the teenage movie depicted different aspects of the American society. The movie depicts Cher as the protagonist, who proves to be clueless about the different identities, and defining American identities. She comes from a wealthy family and represents the societal upper class that is evidently unaware of the factors that define the experience of the middle and lower classes in the society. Although a teenager, she had chosen to uphold a clueless demeanor regarding romantic relationships. This paper will describe one of the scenes in the movie, and introduce a connection between the movie and an article describing the movie’s contribution to the social order.
One of the most intriguing scenes in the movie happens when Tai visits Cher after she had failed her driving test. The failure had caused a measure of desperation to Cher. During such low moments for Cher, Tai seemed excited about her newly discovered romantic interest in Josh. Cher did not receive the news well, and made attempts of convincing Tai that Josh and her were incompatible. However, Tai seemed to have the conviction that Josh was the only man she wanted after attempts to match-make her with Elton had failed. The reason why she was disclosing her interests to Cher was that she expected her to help in bringing Josh closer because they lived in the same household. The fact that Cher was unable to take the news serves to highlight some of the consequences of cluelessness. She had lived with Josh under the same roof and failed to realize that she had any romantic attraction towards him. During the party when Josh danced with Tai, Cher had interpreted that as an act of thoughtfulness, because she was dancing with Christian, and her friend was alone. The reaction of Cher in this setting serves to highlight her need to change perceptions. Tai insults Cher after realizing that she was not willing to help her get close to Josh. The insult did not go down well with Cher, who had helped Tai transform from a common girl to a noticeable girl, who could fit in Cher’s social standing. It is critical to note that Cher was clueless of the possible consequences of helping Tai in her transformation. She had not realized that she was helping Tai build a competing personality. This is what happens in societies where individuals do not belong to the same social standing. Evidently, Tai belonged to a lower social level than Cher. After adopting traits of higher social standing, a complexity of the interactions between them develops. This scene serves as an awakening for Cher to start embracing some realities that she had remained clueless about for the longest time. After this scene, Cher decided to go shopping in a bid to overcome her depression. This highlights her clueless overconsumption of commodities, a factor that is common in the American context.
Wald takes time to analyze how the movie depicted the interactions between the society’s social orders. According to this author, the movie is a representation of the American citizenship aspects when he says, ‘Rather, what we find in Clueless is a representation of national citizenship that is inextricably tied to and mediated through the representation of commodity consumption, heterosexual romance and gender “cluelessness””(Wald 52). Throughout the movie, all these aspects become clear. The author describes Cher as a representation of most of these aspects that define the American society. The article highlights how she was unaware of her consumption of commodities, an aspect that defines the addiction of wealthy Americans. She uses shopping as a venture to keep off her depression, indicating that she does not consume commodities because of an inherent want. According to this author, Cher does not present a complete cluelessness about heterosexual romance, and social location (53). Wald also identifies