To what effect are symbols employed in Miss Julie by August Strindberg?

In Miss Julie by August Strindberg, the barn seems to be a symbol that brings out Julie’s carefree side. The church appears to be a symbol that compels Jean’s confession. Finally, the bird might be a symbol that's employed to foreshadow Julie’s fate.

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The symbols in Miss Julie create different effects. One noteworthy symbol could be the barn. This appears to be a place where Julie can cast off the restrictions and limitations placed on her by her dad (the Count) and society in general. Jean describes Julie’s behavior in the barn as...

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The symbols in Miss Julie create different effects. One noteworthy symbol could be the barn. This appears to be a place where Julie can cast off the restrictions and limitations placed on her by her dad (the Count) and society in general. Jean describes Julie’s behavior in the barn as “simply crazy.” Maybe Jean’s use of “crazy” is a tad hyperbolic or sexist. Perhaps what Jean sees as crazy could instead be seen as a woman enjoying herself and following her desires. In this case, the symbol of the barnyard appears to bring out Julie’s carefree, liberal nature.

A second symbol in Miss Julie that seems to cause a crucial character to effect a certain behavior is the church. The church might symbolize honesty. As Jean and Christine head to the church, Jean makes his confession to Christine. It’s almost as if the church compels Jean to expose himself. The church—with all of its pious, spiritual symbology—seems to pressure Jean to tell Christine the truth about his and Julie’s relationship.

A final symbol that might have brought about a lethal effect is Julie’s canary. Julie wants to bring the little bird, but Jean overrules her. Jean winds up killing the bird, which could be seen as a symbol of Julie’s fate.

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