Miss Julie

by

August Strindberg

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Diana (Julie’s Dog) Symbol Analysis

Diana (Julie’s Dog)  Symbol Icon

In the opening scene of Miss Julie, Christine is brewing a tonic for Miss Julie’s dog, Diana, who is “in trouble” after being found running around with the gatekeeper’s pug. Christine explains that Miss Julie is in a state, wishing to shoot the dog that she had once considered to be a devoted companion, simply because she has been corrupted by a dirtier dog. Diana’s fate directly parallels Miss Julie’s: a “pure-bred” whose reputation is irrevocably tarnished by cavorting with a member of the lower classes. Miss Julie’s relationship to Diana also reveals her contradictory ideas about class and breeding. For example, when Christine finds out that Miss Julie and Jean have slept together, she calls Miss Julie a hypocrite, pointing out that Julie wanted to have her dog shot for sleeping with a servant’s dog, while Julie herself willingly seduced one of her own servants. In addition, Jean notes that, like Julie’s mother, Miss Julie is incredibly particular about some things while being unrefined and uncaring about others. For example, Julie will happily go riding and hunting like a man, but also insists on having the finest clothes, and no longer wants to keep a dog who has been made unclean through interbreeding. Ultimately, like Diana, Julie is not able to live once she has “mated” with Jean, thereby tarnishing her familial line and bringing dishonor on her family.

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Diana (Julie’s Dog) Symbol Timeline in Miss Julie

The timeline below shows where the symbol Diana (Julie’s Dog) appears in Miss Julie. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Miss Julie
Class  Theme Icon
Christine explains that she is making food for Miss Julie’s dog, Diana, who is pregnant after having been found running around with the gatekeeper’s pug. Julie... (full context)
Biology vs. Society Theme Icon
Natural vs. Unnatural Womanhood Theme Icon
Class  Theme Icon
Confinement and Escape Theme Icon
Miss Julie enters, ostensibly to check if Christine has finished the tonic for her dog. Miss Julie is immediately flirtatious with Jean, asking him to come and dance with her... (full context)
Class  Theme Icon
...for people that she has no respect for. Miss Julie threatened to have her own dog shot for running around with the gatekeeper’s pug, but she debases herself by sleeping with... (full context)
Biology vs. Society Theme Icon
...will weigh them down. Julie says that her canary is her only comfort after her dog “deserted her.” She tells Jean that he must kill it rather than abandon it. Jean... (full context)