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.
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.