Miss Julie

Quotes

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

I caught sight of a pink dress and a pair of white stockings. That was you. I crawled under a pile of weeds, under—well, you can imagine what it was like—under thistles that pricked me and wet dirt that stank to high heaven. And all the while I could see you walking among the roses.

Jean concocts the story of the Turkish pavilion—or outhouse—in his attempt to seduce Miss Julie. In this story, he sneaks in to his master's outhouse and has to flee through the bottom when he hears someone approach. Humiliated, he runs until coming upon the vision of Julie upon the rose terrace and falls in love at first sight. Jean makes space stand for class standing. He stands in stinking wet dirt that recalls his humiliation as a servant, watching Julie from below. He looks up at her in physical space just as he looks up at her from his low rung on the social ladder. Jean calculates the pathos of the outhouse story to play to Julie's sense of social superiority and win her pity. This passage exemplifies Strindberg's idea that women are often simultaneously idealized and degraded. Jean's story consists of two successive scenes: Jean in the outhouse, looking up Julie's dress, and Jean idealizing Julie as a love object. While the second part of the story shows Jean at his most abject, the first part puts the joke on Julie. Jean is not only ground down by his masters, he is the servant whose perspective allows him to see their undersides. Such violent unmaskings of Julie recur throughout the play.