Naturalism, Culture and the Will to Power in August Strindberg"s The Father and Miss Julie
This essay questions whether Strindberg"s naturalistic plays such as The Father and Miss Julie can be read as an autobiographical text. The purpose of this question is two-fold. First, it is to argue that those two plays as naturalistic texts are at odds with the conceptual categories of autobiography since the former requires both the artist"s detached attitudes towards his own art and scientific objectivity in representing reality. Second, it is to read those plays in a broader context by re-conceptualizing them as a cultural production. Culture in this essay is extended to the intellectual milieu and the scientific discoveries of the time. Strindberg was well versed in psychological and sociological theories of the past and the present. In his dramatization of the adverse reality of human relationships in The Father and Miss Julie, the playwright incorporates what he learned from the influential thinkers of the time including Freud, Herbert Spencer and Nietzsche.
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