Short summary - Miss Julie - August Strindberg

Scandinavian literature summaries - 2023

Short summary - Miss Julie
August Strindberg

The count's daughter gave herself to a footman. She stole her father's money to run away with her lover and offered to let him die together if their union was unhappy. But he refused and ordered her to cut her own throat.

Frame from the film "Miss Julie" (1999)

On Midsummer Night, in the kitchen of the Count's house, the cook Kristina was frying something by the stove.

Christina — 35 years old, businesslike and practical, maid, has some savings.

The footman Jean entered with the count's boots in his hands.

Soul - 30 years old, a servant, Christina's fiancé, dreams of opening a hotel and getting rich.

He told Christine that Miss Julie was behaving strangely today.

Julie - 25 years old, the daughter of a count, beautiful, not quite normal, despises men.

Christina replied that the Fröken is always strange, especially since her engagement was upset. Jean told Christina that he saw how Julie made the groom jump over the whip, and then beat him with this whip, after which he fled.

Christina treated Jean, he noticed that the plate was not heated; then he gave up beer because he preferred expensive county wine. Christina did not like the behavior of the groom.

God save me from such a hubby! What whims!

Christina said that she was preparing a drug for pregnancy for the dog Freken, who got mixed up with a yard dog. She and Jean began to discuss Julie, and then she entered the kitchen, began to flirt with the footman and took him away to dance.

After a while, Jean returned to the kitchen and told Christina that the Fröken was dancing like crazy. Christina said that Miss Julie is on her period, and besides, she is always wonderful.

Jean hugged Christina; Julie entered. She was offended that Jean left. Fröken asked him to change from the livery into a frock coat. It turned out that he knew French and had been to theaters.

Christina fell asleep, and Fröken and Jean began to drink beer and talk. Julie ordered him to kiss her shoe. The footman obeyed. He was worried that the servants would find them together, and then the frecken offered to go to the garden.

At that moment, sleepy Christina got up and went to her room. Jean and Julie were left alone. Miss Julie said that she often has a dream where she sits on a high pole and cannot get down. And Jean said that in his dreams, on the contrary, he lies under a tall tree and dreams of climbing it to get the golden eggs from the nest at the top.

Fröken tried to get a mote out of Jean's eye and noticed that he was trembling. Jean asked her not to forget that he is a man and not to play with fire. She continued to flirt with the footman. But, as soon as he tried to kiss her, she gave a slap in the face.

Jean was offended. Then he told Fröken a story about how he saw her as a child and fell in love so much that he decided to die. When the whole family went to church, he picked elderberries, because he knew that it was harmful to sleep under her bushes, stuffed a chest with branches and lay down to sleep there. He still survived, but he realized that he could not escape from the circle in which he was born.

Jean and Julie argued again, and the footman decided to go to bed. Froken began to persuade him to go boating, and then they heard that the servants were coming into the kitchen. The only place they could hide was Jean's bedroom, where they went.

The servants drank and danced in the kitchen, then left. Jean and Julie returned. They discussed a plan to escape to Switzerland, where Jean dreamed of opening a hotel. From the conversation it was clear that there was a closeness between them, but Jean still did not dare to call the freuken “on you”.

Fröken asked Jean how much money he was going to open a hotel. It turned out that there was no money. Julie admitted that she also has no savings. They realized that the plan had failed. But Fröken could not stay at home now.

The lovers began to fight. Fröken called Jean a plebeian, he called her a whore. It turned out that Jean read the story about the elderberry in the newspaper and told it to impress. Julie tried again to act arrogant, but the footman laid siege to the hostess.

So low as you behaved today, not one of the simple girls would have allowed herself. Do you think our girls are so attracted to men? Have you seen when a girl from a simple rank was offered like that?

Jean and Julie again began to discuss the escape plan. Froken opened up and told Jean the unfortunate story of her life - about a mother who hated all men, and that she was an unwanted daughter.

Julie said that she also hated men, and she and Jean realized that their union could not be happy. Fröken offered to run away and enjoy intimacy as much as possible, and then die together, but Jean did not like this idea.

Julie could not find a way out of the situation. If everything is left as before, her relationship with Jean will continue and sooner or later her shame will become known to everyone. Jean invited her to leave alone. She refused. He sent her to get ready and remained alone in the kitchen. Christina entered.

Christina guessed what happened between Jean and Fröken. She decided that she and Jean needed to look for another job. Christina left to get ready for church. Freken is back. She broke into the count's office and got the money. Julie carried with her a cage with a siskin.

Jean did not allow her to take the bird. Julie refused to leave her. In a rage, Jean killed the siskin. Fröken trembled in hysterics and asked Jean to kill her too. Christina came in, and the Fröken suddenly had the idea of taking her with him.

Now, if we all go together, the three of us ... abroad ... to Switzerland ... And we would open a hotel together ... you know, because I have money ...

Froken tried to persuade Christina to go with them, but soon she herself realized that the idea was impossible. Cristina expressed contempt for the mistress who acted so frivolously. Jean began to defend the freuken, he and Christina had a fight, and she went to church.

In desperation, Fröken asked Jean what she should do. He invited her to die. The count called and asked Jean for boots. He was about to see the cracked bureau.

Fröken could not make up her mind, she asked Jean to order her to kill herself. But Jean also lost his resolve. He spoke to the Count and realized again that he was only a servant. Then Julie invited him to present himself as a count and order her. Jean gave her a fight and ordered her throat cut. Froken resolutely went out the door.