How Does Strinberg’s Play Question Social Values?

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How Does Strinberg’s Play Question Social Values? In August Strinberg’s play ‘Miss Julie’ many social values are being discarded due to their nature and the character’s environment and heredity. First a definition should be established. Social value - A value system is a set of consistent ethic values (more specifically the personal and cultural values) and measures used for the purpose of ethical or ideological integrity. A well-defined value system is a moral code. During the time that August Strinberg wrote ‘Miss Julie’ the society then valued social status or hierarchy very much. It would not be normal for people of different social status to be married more so it would frowned upon and those people would probably be isolated from their original social class. In many parts of the play social values are being discarded or questioned. When Julie talks about her parents past to Jean. Her father was of a higher status than her mother their affair questions social values. To add to this Julie was born out of wedlock which questioned social values at the time. As well this she also goes on to say that her mother made the men do the women’s work and the women do the men’s work as a result of this they became the joke of the town. ‘My father must have woken from his bewitchment’ implying that there are some lines that cannot be crossed. Gender roles also falls into her parent’s life, it was uncommon for a woman to take charge of her household instead of her husband another social value questioned. Julie’s actions can be compared to the naturalist tenet that humans have no free will or very little of it due to the environment and heredity that determine the choices that they make. Her mother didn’t conform to society and its norms and neither does Julie clearly shown by her indiscretion with Jean. So it’s almost as if here recklessness was passed down to her from her
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