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Ms Julie is considered a Naturalistic play. What characterizes it as one?

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Ms Julie is considered a Naturalistic play. What characterizes it as one? Naturalism (definition) - Naturalism was a literary movement taking place from the 1880s to 1940s that used detailed realism to suggest that social conditions, heredity, and environment had inescapable force in shaping human character. It was depicted as a literary movement that seeks to replicate a believable everyday reality, as opposed to such movements as Romanticism or Surrealism, in which subjects may receive highly symbolic, idealistic, or even supernatural treatment. According to its followers, literary naturalism has the following basic tenets: 1. Heredity and environment are the major forces that shape human beings. In other words, humans respond mainly to inborn instincts that influence behavior in conjunction with-and sometimes in opposition to-environmental influences, including economic, social, cultural, and familial influences. Miss Julie, for example, responds partly to her inborn female instinct for male companionship and partly to her environmentally induced hatred of men. Consequently, she both desires and despises Jean, causing her deep internal conflict. The development of the plot in "Miss Julie" does not seem to have as much to do with heredity as environment. ...read more.


Jean and literally and figuratively trapped into having intercourse when, to avoid being seen together alone, they are forced into hiding in Jean's room. This fateful concealment, which Strindberg is at pains to characterize as a fated development, renders the disruption of class roles as sexuality, and sexuality which is transgressive, forbidden and at the very end, fatal, as the inevitable outcome of a momentary enforcing of privacy. In acting according to the taboos and norms of a rigid class society, the characters are doomed by their environment to transgress two of the major orders of that society - the orders of sexuality and class. 3. A literary work should present life exactly as it is, without preachment, judgment, or embellishment. In this respect, naturalism is akin to realism. However, naturalism goes further than realism in that it presents a more detailed picture of everyday life. Whereas the realist writer omits insignificant details when depicting a particular scene, a naturalist writer generally includes them. He wants the scene to be as "natural" as possible. An example of this would be Christine's pantomime on page 7, which Strindberg specifies in his stage direction that it should be played as though the actress were actually alone, and that the actress should not hasten her movements even in the case where the audience grows impatient. ...read more.


However, Strindberg did not use anything that was not required for the development of the plot and to show the transference of authority and power from Ms Julie to Jean at the end of the play. Because of this move away from pure naturalism, many critics have said that this play is focused more on the realistic and symbolic, or expressionist theories. 4. The naturalist writer also attempts to be painstakingly objective and detached. Rather than manipulating characters as if they were puppets, the naturalist writer, inspired by the scientific method, prefers to observe the characters as if they were animals in the wild and then report on their activity. Naturalist writers generally achieve only limited success in adhering to this. The main problem is that it is next to impossible for a writer to remain objective and detached, like a scientist. After all, a scientist analyzes existing natural objects and phenomena. A naturalist writer, on the other hand, analyzes characters he created; they may be based on real people, but they themselves are not real. Thus, in bringing these characters to the stage or the printed page, the naturalist writer already brings a part of himself-a subjective part, into the story and the characters. ...read more.

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