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The role of parenting in Blood Wedding and Miss Julie.

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Parents play a big role in the lives of their offspring. Many things are handed down from generation to generation, in many forms. Morals, position in society, ethics and even notoriety can all be passed down from parent to child. These traits are present in Blood Wedding and Miss Julie, where the influence of parents ultimately plays a key role in the downfall of the main characters. Status and position in society are reliant on family succession. Titles are hereditary, meaning that on the one hand, the son of a count will become a count, but on the other, the son of a peasant has no chance whatsoever of moving up in the world. This idea of status as determined by parents is seen mostly in Miss Julie, where she can trace her family line back thousands of years. Jean mentions this when he speaks of Adelskalender, the Swedish equivalent of Burke's Peerage, saying that Miss Julie's earliest ancestor was "a miller who let the king spend the night with his wife during the Danish war."i This portrays the conflict of the classes, as it shows that the only difference between Jean and Miss Julie is a paltry, ancient event of no real significance. Genetically, there is no difference between Miss Julie and Jean. ...read more.


The minute that the Bride runs away, the Mother says, "blood will flow before this day is over."vi She does not stop to think of any other solution, because of the involvement of a Felix. She goads her son into seeking violent revenge and fighting her battle, and so causes his death and the death of Leonardo. Blood Wedding also sees the passing on of strict codes of behaviour from parent to child. Right after the Bridegroom's wedding, the mother passes on a piece of advice about the Bride that his father taught her- "if you think she's getting too starry-eyed or too sour, then caress her just so that it hurts...a bruising hug or a bite, and then a gentle kiss. She won't take it amiss, and she'll know exactly who's who, who gives the orders and who takes them."vii This shows the unspoken rules of the time, saying that the husband is always in charge, and should always show it through a show of violence and strength. Another aspect of codes of behaviour is familial justice, taking the law into one's own hands when a rule is broken, like the running away of the Bride with Leonardo. It is the parents that stress these rules and pass them down to their children, so that change and adaptation cannot really occur. ...read more.


We see that family isn't really important to Jean- he betrays Kristen without a qualm although she is his fianc�e, and the only time he ever mentions his parents or family it is to lie and get connections. This gives the impression that he might be ashamed of his family, as they're not wealthy or well connected, and this might also tie in to the betrayal of Kristen. She was suitable enough until someone na�ve with connections and money appeared- Miss Julie. It is clear that parents and family play very important roles in these two texts, since many of their themes tie into family influence and bias. Blood Wedding sees passing down from generation to generation of a bias against the Felix family, and Miss Julie sees the passing down of a title. Both books show the influence of parents' morals and ideas being handed down, and the influence of the parents' actions. Therefore, it can be said that parents influence their offspring through their status, actions, opinions, and through the passing down of codes of etiquette and behaviour. i Strindberg, August (1998) Miss Julie and Other Plays, Oxford University Press, Robinson, Michael (translator), p96 ii Ibid, p85 iii Ibid, p80 iv Ibid, p79 v Lorca, Federico Garcia (2001) Blood Wedding, Hodder and Stoughton, Johnston, David (translator), p36 vi Ibid, p81 vii Ibid, p79 viii Strindberg, August (1998) Miss Julie and Other Plays, Oxford University Press, Robinson, Michael (translator), p109 ...read more.

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