August Strindberg wrote the play, Miss Julia in 1888 and is considered a naturalistic play. Naturalistic plays take place in real time and exaggerate reality. Naturalism, in general, looks at, and examines the sexual roles of men and women. Naturalism shows that men cannot control their sexual urges and that, if unrestrained by the social norms, women would make the same choices as men. When looking at this play, one can look at the two main characters, Miss Julia and Jean and observe their roles as a man and woman, and even their roles as a master and servant. The stereotypes of men and women in this time, are that men are suppose to be the ones in control and women are suppose to be passive and submissive to men.
Although the play A Doll’s House was written by Heinrik Ibsen in 1879, it can still be compared to Miss Julia so one can understand the social expectations of men and woman, in the middle/upper class in Scandinavia in the late 1800s. In A Doll’s House, one can observe some social expectations of men and women, especially by looking at the play’s lead female character Nora and the play’s lead male character Helmer.
In the beginning, one can observe that Nora was overly emotional with the way she acts, especially around her husband, it is almost child-like. Women in Scandinavia at this time were supposed to ...
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...inal effort to prove his worth as a man, tries to gather the courage to face the Count, “...don’t think. You’re taking away my strength and making me a coward… (Two sharp rings from the bell. Jean shrinks for a moment, and then straightens himself.)” (Strindberg, 119).
After looking at the play Miss Julia, social expectations of nobility, and of men and women become apparent. Men were expected to be dominant and in charge, while women were to be submissive to their male counterparts. However, Jean was a servant for Miss Julia, their roles reversed as Miss Julia was to be the one in charge. Each showed a desire to forsake their status in society and fulfill their roles as a man and woman. Because Miss Julia and Jean tried to hard to fill their gender roles rather than their class roles, Miss Julia took her own life and Jean confronts the Count to have an unknown fate.
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