Characters in Clueless #
We must remember that character creationis a construct; an artefact and central ones do not necessarily represent the author. Characters are either portrayed sympathetically or unsympathetically. The former are called protagonists, heroes or good guys while the latter are antagonists, villains or bad guys. Sometimes main characters are picaresque – likeable but harmless rogues, larrikins or scoundrels –“loveable rogues”.
Martin Amis points out that over two millennia humans first told stories of Gods, then Kings, then Epic Heroes, then ordinary people, then anti-heroes, then villains, then demons and finally themselves.
Cher – play on name – share, French for dear - Named after Sonny and Cher; Folk singers of the 60’s.
Cher: Dionne and I were both named after famous singers of the past, who now do infomercials.
Cher, like Emma, is parochial, naïve, oblivious of the real world, innocent and ignorant of anything outside their own boundaries. Isolated and insular; Emma has never seen the sea - Cher avoids the Valley. Yet morally and
They give the appearance of air-heads:
“you found someone more clueless than yourself to worship you”.
If it’s a concussion, you have to keep her conscious, okay? Ask her questions.
What’s seven times seven?
Stuff she knows.
Dionne– African American who is depicted as her loyal friend and confidant - the counterpoint to Mrs Weston.
Would you call me selfish?
No, not to your face.
Dionne and her boyfriend Murray are in this dramatic relationship. I think they’ve seen that Ike and Tina Turner movie too many times.
Mel - Mr Horowitz – fast-talking, high-strung litigation attorney in poor health. Mel is much more active than his counter-part, Mr Woodhouse.
Mel: “Anything happens to my daughter, I got a .45 and a shovel, I doubt anybody would miss you.”
Daddy’s a litigator. Those are the scariest kind of lawyer. Even Lucy, our maid, is terrified of him. And daddy’s so good he gets $500 an hour to fight with people. But he fights with me for free because I’m his daughter.
Despite this Cher is left too much on her own and is used to “having rather too much her own way. (as is Emma)
Do you know what time it is?* * Cher:
A watch doesn’t really go with this outfit, daddy.
You mean to tell me that you argued your way from a C+ to an A-?
Totally based on my powers of persuasion, you proud?
Honey, I couldn’t be happier than if they were based on real grades
The antagonist and foil to Cher. Drama has to have conflict and Amber represents the opposite to Cher even though she is an intelligent and socially acceptable alternative. Her counter-point could be Mrs Elton as both are prone to breaking social conventional codes of behaviour.
Was I the only one listening? I thought it reeked.
No I believe that’s your designer impostor perfume.
On Amber’s attractiveness, Cher replies:
“No, she’s a Monet; looks great from a distance but all spotty close up”*.^(1.)
- Monet belongs to the post impressionist school of French painters who painted in a spontaneous and luminous style with pure or unmixed colours. Some in the school used Pointillism – a series of pairs of opposite dots of colour spectrum which from a distance blend in a process of “optical mixture”.
Josh – Mr Horowitz’s step-son. Since his mother left and remarried he chose to stay with the Horowitz family. He and Cher spar with put-downs and witty repartee:
I want to do something for humanity*.
How about sterilization?
Cher: I have direction.
Josh: Yeah’ towards the mall.
You want to practice parking?*
What’s the point? Everywhere you go has valet.
Oh look, Josh is dancing with Tai, he never dances.
Christian: I can see why.
[Lucy]*: He your gardener, I don’t know why you no tell him.** *
Cher: Lucy, you know I don’t speak Mexican.
[Lucy] : I NOT A MEXICAN. [storms off]
So, it’s an entirely different country.*
Cher: What does that matter?
Josh: You get mad if anyone thinks you live below Sunset.
You know maybe Marky Mark wants to use his popularity for a good cause, make a contribution. In case you’ve never heard of that, a contribution is…
Excuse me, but I have donated many expensive Italian outfits to Lucy, and as soon I get my license, I fully intend to brake for animals, and I have contributed many hours to helping two lonely teachers find romance.
*Josh: Which I’ll bet serves your interests more than theirs. You know, If I ever saw you do anything that wasn’t ninety percent selfish, I’d die of shock.
Cher: Oh, that’d be reason enough for me.
Christian: A Counterpoint to Frank Churchill in that just as Emma began to think of Frank as a potential suitor, Cher considers Christian a potential sexual partner until she finds out about his sexual orientation:
Murray: Your man Christian is a cake boy!
*Murray: He’s a disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde reading, Streissand ticket holding friend of Dorothy, know what I’m saying?
Cher: Uh-uh, no way, not even!
Murray: Yes even, he’s gay!
Dionne: He does like to shop, Cher. And the boy can dress.
Cher: He likes shopping as much as I do.
Cher: He does dress better than I do, what would I bring to the relationship?
Cher Christian said he’d call the next day, but in boy time that meant Thursday.
Christian has a social stigma just like Frank Churchill who flirts with Emma while engaged to Jane Fairfax, a social faux pas (See codes of behaviour).
Tai– Counter-point to Harriet Smith, she becomes the victim Cher wants to “make-over”.
Cher: Are you talking about drugs?
My birthday is in April and as someone older, can I please give you some advice? It is one thing to spark up a doobie and get laced at parties, but it is quite another to be fried all day.
On Tai to Elton: “She looks like one of those Botticelli chicks”
(S*xually attractive - voluptuous) For more info go to: http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/botticelli/