Miss Julie/a Dolls House

2) Miss Julie/ A Dolls house DFK 120 Erene Oberholzer 11045231 Dr. M. Taub 4 September 2012 In this essay two plays, Miss Julie written by August Strindberg, and A Dolls House written by Hendrik Ibsen will be compared and concerns such as gender, identity and class will be contextualized. The section I’ve chosen to portray realism and other elements concerning these two plays resourced to the last pages of both scripts. As I see the last pages construct the difference between the plays and characters. Both these plays inform a strand of realism, as in the Traditional Western canon.
Third world text can be characterized by their degree of immediacy, topicality, mimetic quality, and even social realism (Gugelburger, G. M:1991). Realism: The term Realism introduces a strand of thought and considers the world as not reality but, mere appearance. We have no access to “reality” other than through representations. Yet, all representations only show us particular perspectives on reality. When people use the term “realistic” to describe a film they are saying the film shows them an image of reality that they have come to know.
Realism is a constructive construct, produced by reconcilable codes and conventions which change over time. Realism has been constructed to point out existing social reality. Naturalism, on the other hand, conveys a representation that looks sounds and feels like the actual world outside the work of art. Naturalism looks sounds and feels like the things we would expect (Bob Nowlan [sn]: [sp]). Where Ibsen trends more to the line of realism, Strindberg informs naturalism in his writings. For Strindberg ‘good’ naturalism looked for natural conflicts. For him true naturalism meant truth to nature.

He was determined to have his plays deal with fundamental truths. Miss Julie contains traces of symbolism, which were born out of the foundation of naturalism. Although many believe that due to the use of symbolic affects in Miss Julie, the play drifts away from the naturalistic, and more to the realistic. Strindberg used all the elements needed for the development of the plot and the transference of superiority from Julie to Jean. Naturalism does not help for the development of the plot, whereas realism is a structure that reveals real life events and is focused on the people portrayed, as shown in Miss Julie.
Strindberg wanted to create dramatic illusion. His audience was to be completely convinced of the reality of the world off stage, and then transported into a sphere of influence. Ibsen’s contribution to realism began when he consciously started to dramatize the forces and frictions of modern life. Ibsen indicates in A Dolls House that he was creating a particular life through Nora. Ibsen’s dialogue of A Dolls House comes of naturally; he wanted the spectator to sit down, listen and look at events that happens in real life.
Ibsen wrote mainly about hidden relationships, social conversion and secret fears and anxieties Strindberg’s play was actually written as a response to Ibsen’s A Doll house. Ibsen wrote his plays advocating women, and Strindberg had a contrary view. Hendrik Ibsen’s attitude toward society is evident in his double vision of a secure social position. On the one hand, it’s a defense against attack, on the other; such concerns lead to hypocrisies and superficial values. His play reveals him as far more than a realist (Taylor, J. 972: [sp]). Comparing: My examples of both plays illustrate the elements of gender, identity and class. Both playwrights scripts set the last page out to set everything about the differences of these elements. By the ending we can see the fall (Strindberg) and rising of the woman (Ibsen) in social society that time. Gender, class&identity in A Dolls House: Hendrik Ibsen was known as the father of modern drama as he helped popularize realism. He became an observer of the real human life and informed realism in drama.
In 1877 Norway’s social structure influenced Ibsen’s writings. He wanted to extol freedom and truth in his people. A Dolls House questions the suppressed role of women in that time’s society and also introduced the woman as having their own goals and own purposes. Torvald reveals many times his prejudice viewpoint on gender roles. He believes his wives duty is to be at home and embarks on her to always appear beautiful. The central conflict in this playwright revolves around Trovald’s controlling treatment of his wife.
The tragedy of this story is not only about a man controlling his wife, but also the “dehumanizing of the children” (Mahal 2012;476). They are never given a chance to improving their position in the society. Nora, in the beginning of the play, seems to be happy and content whereas she acts out child like qualities. When Torvald walks in Nora’s childlike qualities becomes more transparent. His true character is later revealed when he accuses Nora of forgery and when he tries to disown her. His attitude changes when everything is sorted out, but she walks out of the marriage.
Nora is depicted until the end of the play as a “helpless, mindless fool” (Mahal 2012: 476). In the end of this story this degrading treatment of Nora by her husband is resolved. This play stresses upon the status of women and how their roles were perceived, as mothers and wives. Nora feels like she’s been used as doll for her father and her husband, with no depth in their relationships. Nora exits her ‘doll’s house’ with a door slam, emphatically resolving the play with an act of bold self-assertion. A Doll’s house appears to mislead the audience of the characters true colors.
Our first impression of Nora is that she is childlike and Torvald is seen as strong. The play’s climax leads to the expose of resolving identity confusion. Nora becomes to be a brave woman and Torvald a sad man. Gender, class&identity in Miss Julie: Strindberg was a Swedish playwright and drew his writings from personal experiences. He failed at three marriages. Circumstances made him a naturalistic writer. He was known as a misogynist and a “women hater”. In Miss Julie (1879) he expresses his hatred for the opposite sex.
He was forced to write a second ending for the play after much controversy. The play was censored all over Europe as the play was socially offensive to women. The daughter of a count has an affair with a valet, who in turn forces her to commit suicide. Strindberg had an eye for injustice, but only dealt with the problem of women’s rights as a facet of realism in his plays. Julie suffers an identity crisis and displays her regard for class and gender conventions. She mingles with the servant when a party is thrown.
She expresses absurd behavior but on other times she is coy. Jean warns her of her behavior as she was seen as a temptress. She wavers between the high and low class identity, and is in the end confused with her own identity. Julie also identifies herself with both female and male figures. She confesses she has no self she can call her own. The characters in Miss Julie are portrayed through gender, class and ideology. In the end she orders Jean to hypnotize her to commit suicide. The play reveals Julie having no control over her sexual instincts.
Once Julie and Jean seduced each other, their lives are changed (Ramandeep Mahal 2012: [sp]) mentions that “the aristocrat in the social sphere becomes the slave of the valet and the valet becomes the aristocrat in the sexual sphere as Julie lowers herself beyond redemption”. Julie is seen as an example of the naturalistic movement. “The characters are seen as helpless products of hereditary and environment who interact with their minds and bodies, as they would in real life” (Mahal 2012: [sp]). Both playwrights by Ibsen and Strindberg came of shocking the audience of their time, with the way they portrayed their women characters.
They’re portrayal of sex and divorce was set off to much controversy (Mahal 2012:475). A Dolls House is considered to be more feminist work, where Strindberg has been seen as “his arch enemy” on that point. Ibsen has been seen to deny writing in a feminist point of view; he has said many times that he wrote for the “everyday man”. Strindberg tended to emancipate woman. For example when Julie grows conscious about her humiliation she falls to Jean’s knees. Jean triumphantly stands over her. This also symbolizes the hierarchy of the 1800’s.
These ideas govern the central world of the everyday in the aspect that they inform social hierarchies and show out elements of real happenings people experience everyday. Women were demanded by men, and men were befallen to the beauty of women. In that time of social structure woman belonged in the kitchen (As Strindberg’s points out in Miss Julie) and they were there to raise the kids and beautify their homes. That was the real world. Some of these conventions still stand today in aspect of class and gender. Resources: Ibsen, H. A. A Dolls House. Gugelburger, G.
M. 1991. “Germainistik”, the Canon, and Third world literature. Mahal, R. 2012. A comparative study of Portrayal of women in Ibsen’s A Dolls House and Strindberg’s Miss Julie. Available. [o]. Accessed 2 September 2012 www. rspublication,com Lukas, Nowlan, B. An introduction to the problematics of Realism in video, film, and moving image- culture. Available. [o]. Accessed 2 September 2012 www. uwec. edu/ranowlan/realism film_video_moving-imag_culture. html. Taylor, J. C. 1972. Ritual, realism, and revolt: Major traditions in the drama. New York: Schribner.

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