Style in Strindberg's Miss Julie

It is an established fact that Strindberg is a naturalistic playwright and his Miss Julie is a naturalistic play. This fact enables us to gain some glimpse of his style. Strindberg has not divided his play Miss Julie into acts and scenes. To capture a reality regarding Miss Julie, the dramatist was in need of a single moment of continuity.

August Strindberg (1849 -1912)

In an atmosphere of continuity it is easier to grasp a reality concerning a complex character like Miss Julie. If the action is divided there will be a delay and interruption. In interrupted atmosphere and delayed time the truth, which the dramatist is going to capture, can be affected by several characters. Since the dramatist is going to experiment with certain categories of assumed truth, the atmosphere and time must be in control. That is why, it would be risky to divide the action with this purpose in mind Strindberg did not divide his play into acts.

There is one more extra reason behind the non-division of the play into acts. We have known that the purpose of a naturalistic play is to capture a slice of life in an experimental way. Life is not divided. In no way life is divided. If life is undivided, if it is an uninterrupted continuum, why should action be divided in a naturalistic play because it is more than closer to life.

The nature of dialogue is exactly a replica of real-life conversation. As our everyday conversation is meandering, so is the dialogue of the play. Dialogue in Miss Julie is frequently marked by dashes and exclamatory marks. For example:

 Julie: an order? …..Surely a gentleman can keep his lady company

 Julie: bravo! ….. Now kiss my shoe.

 Julie: What were they saying? Tell me! …… Sit down!

Sentences are incomplete exactly as we in daily life speak in incomplete sentences when we become overwhelmed with the intensity of emotions.

Julie: And handsome, what incredible conceit! A Don Juan perhaps! Or a Joseph!

Julie: How amusing....................

Strindberg made Miss Julie genre defying. The first part of Miss Julie resembles romance mistaking. The ultimate part gives the hint that the play is a tragedy. But the real fact is that it is a naturalistic play. But even this real fact is uncertain because there are enough expressionistic elements in the play. The play, if viewed from different angles, resemble an expressionistic play. With his stylistic tact Strindberg made his play Miss Julie as genre defying. To make one's subtly successful play as a genre defying play is surely a mark of stylistic innovation.

In Miss Julie Strindberg omitted spoken asides. An aside is a short speech from a character that is spoken directly to the audience. The other actors on set can physically hear the words, but as their characters they pretend as if nothing was said. The audience understands that the speech was meant for them only.  The omission of spoken asides is another spoke of his stylistic innovation. In the creation of Miss Julie Strindberg employed seeming unimportant and tiny events to produce the parallel effect by virtue of which the intensity of major action becomes prominently heightened. Julie's Diana (a pure female dog superior in terms of its breed and blood) was impregnated by the gatekeeper's mongrel dog. These impregnations of Diana by mongrel dog run parallel to Julie's impregnation by Jean.

Since Strindberg is a playwright, having his artistic affinity and affiliation with German expressionism, it is customary to say that his style is characterized by the uses of symbols. The powerful effect of absent count, the decapitation of a canary, Turkish pavilion they are all symbols which shape his style.