What Do the Visual Images Present in the Stage Directions and Dialogue Reveal About the Theme of Social Class in Miss Julie?”

Topics: Social class, Sociology, Working class Pages: 3 (1031 words) Published: July 14, 2012
“What do the visual images present in the stage directions and dialogue reveal about the theme of social class in Miss Julie?” The theme of social class is prevalent throughout “Miss Julie” by underscoring the disparity between the classes of Jean, Christine and Miss Julie. Through visual imagery in the stage directions and dialogue, Strindberg communicates the class distinctions of the three characters to the audience. Using such techniques, Strindberg effectively highlights this difference by employing striking visual images in the dialogue, through animal imagery and Jean’s memories. Strindberg also offers a physical representation of class through the stage directions through the depiction of costumes and the stage setting. “Miss Julie”, a naturalistic play, consists of stage directions that demand reproductions of life. One example is the kitchen setting, the stage directions reveal, “A large kitchen, …To the left of this emerges a speaking-tube. ”. This setting clearly represents the theme of class, the image of a kitchen is immediately associated with the idea of ‘work’, those who work in the kitchen are the servants of the Count. Thus, the kitchen represents the realm of the low serving class (i.e. the servants). Furthermore, the Count, representing the higher social class, does not enter the kitchen nor does he descend physically to the servants. The kitchen is connected to the ‘high’ realm of the Count by a speaking tube, which would normally carry his godlike instructions to the servants below. This physical separation further reveals the disparity of the higher and lower class by emphasizing the fact that they do not socialize with each other. However, Miss Julie intrudes from above into this lower realm and this at once puts her at a tactical disadvantage. Jean and Christine being at home in the kitchen, can act naturally and confidently there. Julie is unquestionably out of place in the kitchen, which is evident in her uncertainty as to whether to...
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