I'm sitting on top of a pillar that I've climbed up somehow and I don't know how to get back down. When I look down I get dizzy. I have to get down but I don't have the courage to jump.

This is Miss Julie's recounting of her dream. She tells this to Jean in the course of their courtship. Julie's dreams a metaphor for her social position, and this metaphor recurs in the play. The daughter of a Count, Julie wants to clamber down from her high social standing. Jean tells her of his dream, confessing a yearning to climb up in the world. This opposition suggests Strindberg's notions of evolution, in which Miss Julie is sick because she wants to ruin herself, and Jean is healthy becomes he wants to continue climbing. This passage also establishes Miss Julie's masochism: she wants to fall. Julie seems to yearn for her ultimate death.