"Miss Julie" and the Cinderella Myth
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The paper discusses how the Swedish naturalist playwright August Strindberg's play "Miss Julie" is a kind of Cinderella story in reverse, or an inversion of typical fairytale roles, since it is the woman Julie who is of higher birth, while the man whom she 'sins' with is her father's valet. The paper focuses on this reversal of conventional gender norms and how it conveys Strindberg's misogynist idea that men, regardless their social class, should rule and women should serve.
From the Paper:"Strindberg, in his "Preface" to the play says that he deliberately created a portrait of a world upside-down in terms of its class and gender relations, which is then made right again by Miss Julie's subjugation at the hands of the stronger, but lower-class Jean. Women like the "man-hating half-woman" Miss Julie, Strindberg writes, "fortunately are overcome eventually either by a hostile reality, or by the uncontrolled breaking loose of their repressed instincts, or else by their frustration in not being able to compete with the male sex" on a truly equal playing field (Templeton 268). Of course, the Cinderella story itself is also a kind of world-upside-down myth--the 'good' girl, the true heir of the father's first mother, is forced to be a maid, while the 'bad' stepsisters are elevated to legitimate status, and the mother dominates the father. This is made right by Cinderella's escape with the prince, which restores the mother and stepsisters to their rightful, lowly places. In Miss Julie, the world is upside-down because the superior sex of the male is made subordinate by class structures to the socially but not sexually superior female. Just as in Cinderella, courtship rectifies this situation, but in a negative and deadly, rather than in a positive and life-affirming fashion."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Chaudhuri, Una. "Private Parts: Sex, Class, and Stage Space in Miss Julie." Theatre Journal. 45. 3 (Oct., 1993), pp. 317-332
- Greenway, John L. "Strindberg and Suggestion in Miss Julie." South Atlantic Review. 51. 2(May, 1986), pp. 21-34.
- Sprinchorn, Evert. "Strindberg and the Greater Naturalism." The Drama Review: TDR. 13.2 Naturalism Revisited (Winter, 1968), pp. 119- 129
- Templeton, Alice. "Miss Julie as a Naturalistic Tragedy. Theatre Journal. 42. 4, Disciplines of Theater: Fin De Siecle Studies (Dec., 1990), pp. 468-480
Cite this Analytical Essay:
"Miss Julie" and the Cinderella Myth (2011, November 25) Retrieved February 16, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/miss-julie-and-the-cinderella-myth-149124/
""Miss Julie" and the Cinderella Myth" 25 November 2011. Web. 16 February. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/miss-julie-and-the-cinderella-myth-149124/>