August Strindberg and Miss Julie and Summary

August Strindberg and Miss Julie and Summary - August...

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August Strindberg (1849-1912) Swedish playwright wrote many plays, short stories and novels all now in 55 volumes Major paranoia and nervous breakdowns Modern prose play Work broken into two parts o Naturalism- miss Julie o Expressionism- disregarded strict demands of naturalism to present a “slice of life” without shaping of plot and resolution Resembled dreams or nightmares and focused on symbolic actions, subjective interpretation of world Approach to naturalism in Miss Julie, subjective in approach to naturalism, selective and impressionistic but still honest and true, people belonged to their class because of what kind of people they were o Into psychology of characters, emotional lives determined their actions Described as misogynist but this is contradictory, much like his work’s complexity Miss Julie is most famous work o New conception of character- full, lively beings o Realism in context, staging and time o Expressionism in symbology o Story by Zola was inspiration of the play o She is portrayed as a monster Miss Julie Miss Julie is daughter of the count, Jean is count’s valet both from different social backgrounds and ordinarily may not have become friendly but when count is away, they are drawn in a sexual alliance and struggle for dominance and control. Her husband is gone because of refusal to be a slave to her. She is a free spirit but suspect because her mother like her defied the court with a lover. Her mother punished her husband by burning their house down after insurance expired, had her lover loan the count the money to rebuild the house. o Miss Julie’s heritage is of independence, rebellion and unorthodoxy, she was raised to manipulate men and cannot accept them Mysterious quality of play, setting: Midsummer Eve- when lovers reveal themselves to one another and anything can happen, associated with sexual awakening. Cook, Kristine says it is feast of St. John Jean beheading Miss Julie’s bird foreshadows her death Symbolism and dreamlike in one day to suggest dream quality and deepen action Count never appears in play but presence is felt. Kristine feels scorned by Jean, who is now with Julie Jean is course beneath polished appearance, wants to be proprietor of first class hotel and share this with Julie, the princess of the play. Miss Julie falls to the power of love and cannot redirect her life, conclusion is swift Contrast of : willfulness of Julie and caution of Jean Miss Julie Summary Characters - Miss Julie ( 25)- tragic heroine, cruel demise, wild since engagement broken off, behavior signals sickness, sado- masochistic (wants to enslave men but desires her own fall) Jean - valet (30)- miss julie’s lover, pretends to be gallant when seducing miss Julie, suffers from class envy, idealizes and degrades Julie and reveals her ruin Kristine -cook (35)- , jean’s fiancé, believes in the class system Diana - miss julie’s dog, symbolizes Julie for having sex with mongrel dog that belongs to the gatekeeper
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August Strindberg and Miss Julie and Summary - August...

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