Feminism In Miss Julie

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August Strindberg’s play Miss Julie was written in the 19th century. Society as this time was inherently patriarchal with women expected to be in a subordinate position. Feminism challenged the ideology of society towards women. Female authors such as Mary Wollstonecraft began to challenge gender inequality in her work “A Vindication of the Right’s of Women”. Though a man wrote Miss Julie, this literary work presents Julie as a complex character thus challenging the expectations placed on women. A feminist reading of Miss Julie reinforces the social and psychological oppression placed on women during the time in which it was written. Strindberg’s character Julie acts as a female protagonist against the patriarchal cultural system. In nineteenth century society, Julie would be faulted as a “fallen woman” as she gave in to the desires of the flesh and did not adhere to society’s expectations of her. Sexuality at the time was a taboo subject and a woman most certainly did not entertain the idea of sexual …show more content…
In society’s eyes Julie is the sinner though Jean may or may not have used her as it is up for interpretation. She carries all the guilt and loses her power. In contrast, Jean rises above her now, even though he is low on the social structure. Her character and self-image is also destroyed, while Jean steps into power using his words to destroy her further, “In your place? Let me see. As one of gentle birth, as a woman, as one who has—fallen. I don’t know—yes, I do know!” (33). Jean fuels her on to believing that suicide is the only way for her to escape the disgrace. She is trapped by the inability to put her emotions into place. Society, taught that women were the possessions of their husbands and for a woman to accept that she had “fallen from grace’ was often a sentence of isolation for the rest of her life: never to be wanted or loved

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