Gender Issues in August Strindberg's Miss Julie

1286 WordsJun 23, 20186 Pages
August Strindberg was undoubtedly a contemporary writer, but where gender issues were concerned, he preferred to support the past. His work reflected the cultural and societal environment around him in 1887; this suggests themes throughout Miss Julie, such as gender inequality and women’s’ rights, were inflicted by his own struggle between classes and promiscuous relationships with women. It becomes apparent in the play that Miss Julie, a self-portrait of Strindberg, typifies Strindberg’s creative energy and the close relationship between his writing and lifestyle. Miss Julie’s downfall can be associated with many aspects of her life, ranging from the masculine influence in her life, to her degenerated brain, thus making her a damaged,…show more content…
Mind you, Strindberg believed women to be of secondary form, despite him preaching equality of the sexes in marriage in ‘The Red Room’. Strindberg cleverly blurs the divisions of class and sex within ‘Miss Julie’, as in his patriarchal society, men had control of who is at the top, and who is at the bottom, hence the use of metaphors ‘I’m on top of a high pillar’. Therefore, it is applicable that the battle of sexes and gender inequality are responsible for Miss Julie’s inevitable fate. ‘Because I’m a man, I’m young’ conveys Jean’s desire to the audience, while the sinister language is used to suggest that Jean is allowed to ‘play with fire’ empowering himself over Miss Julie. On top of this, Miss Julie is also presented as a dominant character, suggesting a sense of competition from the start ‘She was training him’. On the other hand, this clarifies the battle of the sexes, as the struggle for supremacy appears in Miss Julie’s failed effort to dominate her fiancé. Certainly, it seems that the winner of the battle claims power as a prize, and thus Jean’s feeble attempt to climb the social ladder represents the infamous battle. ‘I listen when my betters are talking, listen and learn’ suggests that Jean is channelling her position in authority, whilst his use of

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