Title: Miss Julie
Author: August Strindberg
Genre: play (naturalistic?)
Year Published: 1888
Reason for Reading: I wanted to read another DailyLit book, and this one looked interesting (I didn’t know it was a play)
Summary/Review (from Amazon.com):
“Full-length drama in one act by August Strindberg, published in Swedish as Froken Julie in 1888 and performed in 1889. Also translated into English as Countess Julie and Lady Julie, the play substitutes such interludes as a peasant dance and a pantomime for the conventional divisions of acts, scenes, and intermissions. Julie, an aristocratic young woman, has a brief affair with Jean, her father’s valet. After the sexual thrill has dissipated, they realize that they have little or nothing in common. Strindberg portrays Julie as a decaying aristocrat whose era has passed and Jean as an opportunistic social climber to whom the future beckons. ”
My Thoughts: Interestingly enough, the very beginning of this play made me chuckle a little. That’s not because the play was funny, but because it eerily paralleled Dirty Dancing. The “privileged” young woman goes to the “servants” dance on a summer’s night when she’s not supposed to be there. There is one servant, a young man named Jean (or Johnny in Dirty Dancing, practically the same name), who the lady likes to dance with. And even later in the play they have sex. But that’s where the similarities end–no watermelons in Miss Julie.
But I did quite enjoy the play. DailyLit is a website that emails you an installment of what you’re reading every day so you read it slowly. But there’s a link in each installment that, if clicked, gives you the next installment right away. This is what I did. Rather than read this slowly over 20 days, I read it all in one hour, before I even got out of bed! I can’t say what it was that interested me in the play It just amused me that Julia and Jean went back and forth and back and forth with holding the power over one another. Jean might have been more mean-hearted because it seemed he really just wanted to mess up Julia’s life. But then it’s her fault in a way because she asked for it.
I don’t normally read plays–I think this has to do with the fact that I didn’t enjoy Shakespeare when made to read him in high school. But not all plays are written in such old English. If I had known Miss Julie was a play, I honestly might not have decided to read it. But now I know that I can handle plays