Election Day is November 3rd! Make sure your voice is heard

Miss Julie

Quotes

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

Oh, I'd love to see the whole of your sex swimming in a sea of blood just like that. I think I could drink out of your skull You think I loved you because my womb hungered for your seed Bear your child and take your name!—Come to think of it, what is your name anyway? I've never heard your last name. You probably don't even have one. I'd be Mrs. Doorkeeper or Madame Floorsweeper. You dog with my name on your collar—you lackey with my initials on your buttons!

Julie delivers this tirade after Jean decapitates her pet canary, Serena. This speech is the most explosive manifestation of Julie's hatred of men. The backdrop for Serena's decapitation is the decapitation of Saint John the Baptist. In her fantasy, Julie makes Jean (French for "John") the victim, drowning his "entire sex." The double entendre of "sex" suggests that Julie wants to drown all men, and to drown Jean's sexuality. Strindberg is suggesting that as a "degenerate" woman, Julie is dangerous to the sexuality of men. Throughout the play, Jean both hates men and longs for sex with them, a contrast that psychologists of Strindberg's day would call typical of the female hysteric. Julie describes her hatred of men not only as a desire to kill thme, but as a refusal to reproduce.

Julie also rages against the proper name. The marker of the family line, the proper name carries on the father's legacy, his dominance in the family, and his "ownership" over his wife and children. Because Jean is low class, however, his proper name becomes the sign of his inferior class position. To Julie, Jean has no name beyond his servile role (Doorkeeper or Floorsweeper). His children will not proudly carry on the family name. Julie points out that far from having a significant last name, Jean carries Julie's initials on his buttons, which emasculates him. Julie attacks both Jean's class and his manhood by repulsing the idea that she could bear his children and pointing out that he bears her name. At the same time, though, the initials on Jean's buttons are not Julie's alone—they belong to Julie's father. Julie borrows her class superiority from the Count, and must use the Count's power as a man to attack Jean's manliness.