Miss Julie on Naturalism

Topics: Social class, Middle class, Working class Pages: 2 (655 words) Published: May 7, 2013
Miss Julie Essay

Johan August Strindberg, was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg's career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over 60 plays and more than 30 works of fiction, autobiographies, history, cultural analysis, and politics. August Strindberg wrote the play, Miss Julie, in 1888. Miss Julie is a play about the reversal of roles within the every day life of an upper class woman, and a servant in her father’s repertoire. This play is defined as a true-to-genre Naturalist production for three reasons; The setting is indigenous and contemporary to the time period, the characters were the ordinary working class and the bourgeois, and the conflicts presented were mundane and true to the period.

Miss Julie is defined as a naturalistic play because of its contemporary setting. The play is set mainly on Midsummers Eve, in the servant quarters of Jean, the footman of the Count, rather than an exotic time frame or mythical land with dangerous creatures. Miss Julie’s setting allows the boundaries of upper class and middle class to be clouded as the plot line involves the flirting of Miss Julie and Jean, within his household, on a holiday full of tomfoolery and social class “abandonment”. The naturalistic elements of using a contemporary setting also allowed the characters to comfortably open up to their true selves, something that is necessary in a Naturalistic play.

Furthermore, Miss Julie displays Naturalistic qualities because of the portrayal of the working class, and the bourgeois or nobility. Rather than Kings and Queens, and dirt poor slaves, Naturalism entails a more general sense of the people by displaying the relatively “well-off” Count and his noble daughter, Miss Julie, and a working class butler, Jean. Though their inner personalities are contradictory to what the ordinary for each social class is, their outward...

Bibliography: 1. K.M Newton, Edinburgh University Press, 2008, Print.
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