Upbringing of Nora and Miss Julie suggests a great difference between the points of views of the two authors. Nora, as she says herself was like a doll first to her father and then to her husband. She was thought and expected not to have any idea about serious subjects and was brought up in a completely feminine way. From the beginning of the play we see that Helmer controls every aspect of her life as if she was a child and needed constant care: “Helmer (wagging his finger at her): Hasn’t Miss Sweet Tooth been breaking rules in town today?” How Nora talks about money and life suggests that she is still immature in her world view. Even her reaction to the law systems is immature: “Krogstad: The law cares nothing about motives. Nora: Then it must be a very foolish law.”
Mrs. Linde who is an independent woman and has had a life completely different from that of Nora, thinks that she hasn’t grown up. She sees that something in Nora and Helmer’s relationship is wrong and that’s why she insists that Nora tell her husband the secret. Nora has done only one thing independently which she is proud of and that is saving her husband’s life. When she sees that Helmer reproaches her for saving his life and that he wouldn’t do the same thing for her, her illusions are shattered and for the first time she understands that she has to change her life. On the other hand Miss Julie’s mother has brought her up in a way not to be like Nora.
She has grown up doing what boys do and having the same opportunities as them. Her mother teaches her to hate men and she does so. Strindberg has tried to show that this kind of education is wrong and it cannot end well. At the beginning of the play Miss Julie is superior to Jean because she is aristocrat. But as we go on we see that Jean becomes superior because he is a man. His language changes, he insults her. He even proudly suggests that he has better ancestors than her:
“Jean: I’ve got better ancestors than you have: I haven’t got any incendiaries in my pedigree. But I read in a book on the drawing-room table about your pedigree. Do you know what the founder of your line was? A miller with whose wife the king spent a night during the Danish war. I don’t run to ancestors like that. I’ve got no ancestors at all, as a matter of fact, but I can be an ancestor myself.”
Strindberg mocks Ibsen’s idea that women should be independent and that they may easily relieve themselves from the mail dominant environments, by showing that Miss Julie doesn’t have any other way except committing suicide because of her upbringing. She suggests that changing the places of males and females in society or even mixing them causes catastrophe, and he also elaborates the naturalistic belief that one has no role in making his or her own future.
Another difference between the two plays may be in the approach the writers have taken to build up to the final incidents of the plays. Strindberg uses not logically organized dialogues as it may happen in natural life. But in A Doll’s House there are lots of carefully chosen sentences uttered by character that all in all may give us a clue what the character will do in the future. For example Helmer’s fine speeches about how he hates borrowing money and being in debt and his criticizing Krogstad for the crime he has committed, all ironically point to his possible reaction to finding out about Nora’s secret. As a conclusion, we can say that Miss Julie written as a response to A Doll’s House tries to question the feministic values of Ibsen’s work and for this reason either intentionally or no has been influenced by A Doll’s House.
Brian Johnston. “August Strindberg MISS JULIE” Courses in Drama, 3 August 2008 Chanin Desiree. “Analysis of Strindberg’s Miss Julie” Hub pages, 30 March 2010