Sunday, November 24, 2013

Naturalism: Miss Julie

In order to avoid a class revolt by watching another Ibsen play (I felt your attention to Hedda Gabler was excellent...but attempting The Wild Duck would be tempting fate...) that we would forego watching anything on a screen as this week you are probably going to be bombarded by videos in various classes as we move into Thanksgiving Day recess.

So, let's learn a little about August Strindberg and his best known play: "Miss Julie"

More about August Strindberg, playwright, can be found here and on eLearning in lesson 02.09.
Clips of Miss Julie:
  • Opening Scene from Miss Julie (1987 television production clip, with Janet McTeer as Miss Julie--you may watch the entire television production from the sidebar on Youtube, if you'd prefer)
  • Miss Julie (Helen Mirren as Miss Julie, clip from 1972 production)
The play has only 3 main characters:
Miss Julie: a 25 year-old upper class lady. True to naturalism's style of focusing on heredity and environment and how our environment affects our true nature, Julie, being upper class, raised by a "feminist" mother, Julie has just broken off an engagement to an appropriate suitor from her own economic class level because she attempted to "master" her fiance. Her behavior is shocking because she is also has tendencies of a sado-masochist. 
Jean: a 30-year old valet, favored by Miss Julie on this Midsummer Night's Eve (a night meant traditionally for lovin'). He is working class (not of the same station as Miss Julie) and must "obey" Miss Julie's orders, thus making him a likely target in the battle between men and women. He both dislikes and desires Julie because of her social status. 
Christine: A 35-year old cook. She is Jean's fiance and a gossip. From her we learn a lot about Miss Julie before she arrives on the scene. Christine believes in social structure: the working class should only involve themselves with the working class, the rich only should hob-nob with the rich, etc.
Naturalism (1865-1900) attempts to go further from realism to suggest that social conditions, heredity, and environment affects human behavior. Plots often revolve around social problems, characters are often drawn from lower classes and the poor, perhaps in an attempt to explain their behavior.

Get into groups of 1-4. Read Miss Julie today during class. When you have finished reading the play, please take the quiz on Miss Julie. This may be today or during next class if you do not finish reading the play today.

HOMEWORK: None--although many of you are very far behind and can get caught up. The end of the marking period is Dec. 6. Please complete eLearning lessons 02.08, 02.09, and 02.10. Apart from the quiz for 02.08, there are no writing assignments that go with these lessons--just pure learning stuff for the sake of being smart.

If you did not finish Miss Julie, please do so and be prepared to take the quiz on the play.

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