Miss Julie, Form And Structure
The Play is set up in a very naturalistic way - Miss Julie, Form And Structure introduction. Its structure is based on and follows perfectly the 3 unities, time, space and action, like an ancient Greek play or other naturalistic plays, abandoning the 3 part structure of other plays. The play takes place in the space of one day. So Automatically we get a very naturalistic feel to the play, and as the audience watch the play, they too will find the play the play to be more realistic because it appears as if it is real life going on the stage as they watch, engaging them further into the play.
Also the continuous action taking place on the stage makes the play livelier and again, in addition with the 3 unities, this makes the play seem more naturalistic. The play uses form and structure in specific ways, to create intended effects unto the audience. For instance, the use of monologues lets the audience see the language change, dramatically, from short clipped sentences/conversation to flowing, poetic sentences and monologues.
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For instance, before the act of sex, jean is still trying his best in seducing Miss Julie. He speaks as if he were of higher class, using sophisticated words and long sentences, and in some cases long monologues. This is also the case with Miss Julie, so the conversation between the two is rather sophisticated. For instance, when Jean speaks of his yearning to climb the social ranks, disguised in a “dream” that he had. He speaks of trying to get to the top of the tree, but cannot reach any branches to climb.
This is all incorporated into one monologue. Miss Julie replies with an equally long monologue, saying that she wishes to fall, again, all in one monologue. These lengthy conversations make the audience sympathise with certain characters, and allows the audience to understand certain aspects more clearly. Also, the use of contradictory images, i. e. when Jean was a child he lay in a pile of weeds and was covered in faeces, he watched as Miss Julie walk past, through the rose garden.
Here the pleasant and unpleasant images make the audience subtly see the social class barriers, and Jeans current position in the social classes, invoking the audience to sympathise. The image in this case is that of Jean crawling through excrement only to get a sight at what he classifies as beauty; this can be related with his struggle to climb to the top of the social ladder, and what he may have to go through in order to get there. Another use of structure and form in the play is the use of song and dance.
Strindberg uses dance to portray essential points in the play, for instance when Jean and Miss Julie enter the room, and supposedly have sex, Strindberg uses song and dance to portray the trashing of her social class, and the new level which Jean has usurped. The fact that the peasants who enter, a visual representation, sing and then trash the kitchen, could symbolise what is taking place in the room, devastation of both social class and physical, meaning rape could be possible.
I think that this a very effective use of form and structure by Strindberg. This involves the audience to an extent, making them decide what actually took place in the room, taking ideas from the peasants songs and actions. As Jean and Miss Julie have taken part in a sexual act, physically and mentally/socially thy are both brought to the same level in terms of social class, and then straight away Jean has got to this well known “branch” and uses it to elevate his position even higher, usurping Miss Julies position in the social classes.
The fact that normally this type of incident would not happen in real life means that it would appear to be an alien event, so by the peasants causing panic and devastation in the kitchen, it can represent what is to come due to the “alien” event, in which social classes of two characters are reversed. But overall, I feel that the intended effect of the dance was to engage the audience even more so with the play, and give them the chance to think about the play and make the dramatic connections themselves; the link between the dance/song itself and what is going on inside the room.
The fact that it’s a very visual way to portray the exposition, means that the audience have more ease in understanding the bigger picture. In conclusion, it can be deduced that Strindberg uses certain forms such as monologues and song/dance to portray the most important parts of the play, and also various themes, such as class differences, and the rich against the poor. And also Strindberg was able to exploit these themes to their full potential.