“Freken Julia” Strindberg in brief summary

The action takes place in Sweden, in the count’s, a manor in the kitchen on the night of Ivan Kupala, when, according to folk tradition, among all who celebrate this religious and magical holiday all the class boundaries are temporarily canceled. Christina, a cook of thirty-five years, is standing by the stove, preparing a potion for a sick woman with a lady’s hair. Jean enters the kitchen, a thirty-year-old footman in livery. He is not a Frenchman, he is a Swede, but he can speak French, because at one time he worked in a large Swiss hotel in Lucerne: for love of a foreigner, he altered his original name Yang.

Jean just came from the dances, which were arranged in the threshing floor by courtyards and peasants: he danced – with whom would Christina think? – with the very Julia, the count’s daughter! She, apparently, completely lost her head: otherwise, even if Ivan Kupala, with the lackey would not have danced. Lately the young lady does not seem

to be at all herself. Most likely, it’s because of a break with her fiancé. Jean himself saw how Julia in the stable made him jump over the whip like a dog. She hit him twice, and he did not wait for the third one – he took away her whip, broke the handle and was like that! And today, too. Why did Julian Froken not go with the Count to her relatives and stay at home alone?

Julia enters the kitchen. Is the brew ready for the dog? Oh, there’s Jean! Would he like to dance again? Christine has nothing to be afraid of: he will not get her fiancé out of her!

Jean and Julia leave and after a while come back. Julia praises the dexterity of the footman: he dances quite well! But why is he in livery? It is a holiday today. Let him put on a frock coat! He is shy? A footman should not be embarrassed by his lady! The surcoat perfectly sits on it. How? Does Jean understand and speak French? Oh yes, he worked in Switzerland. But he also owns a good speech. Does Jean go to the theater? Or reading books? Yes, he got some education. His father worked as a messenger with the prosecutor, and he saw freken

as a girl, although then she did not pay attention to him.

So let him tell her where and when he saw her! Jean is her servant and must obey. Here, in the kitchen, it’s terribly hot, I’m so thirsty.

Jean offers Julia a beer. Will he not drink with her? For her health? Is he shy? So let her kiss her in the shoe, and shyness will pass! No no! No one thinks bad about them. The lady and the footman are unthinkable! In addition, in the kitchen – Christina. True, she fell asleep, we must wake her.

Julia wakes Christine, taking her fingers in her nose. The half-asleep cook rises and leaves for his room. Jean is outraged: you can not make fun of the sleeping! And Julia agrees with him. Do not go to the garden for the lilacs? How? He does not want? is he not imagining that she can fall in love with a footman? He really behaves like an aristocrat – with his or her manners! But her, Julia, always wanted to descend into the lower spheres. She often dreams: she is standing on a high column, and her head is spinning – she feels that she should be down on the ground, but she does not have enough spirit to jump, and when she is on the ground, she pulls even deeper – under the ground! Jean did not feel anything like this?

No, Jean usually dreams that he lies under a tall tree in a dark forest. He wants to climb to the top and from there look around the sunlit distance. Or ruin a bird’s nest with golden eggs. He climbs the trunk and can not climb. But he will always climb a tree – at least in a dream.

Between Jean and Julia a confidence tone is established. Moments Yulia frankly flirting with the servant, while at the same time pushing him away. Jean stubbornly repeats to her: she behaves too freely – his position obliges to obey, but let the freken remembers: he is a man, and he has his pride. Jean tells Julia how he saw her as a child, making her way into the greenhouse: she wandered between roses in silken white socks, and he gazed adoringly at her from the thickets of weeds. The next day he went again to look at her – into the church, and then, from desperation, at the thought of the abyss dividing them, he decided to die. Remembering how dangerous it is to sleep under the bushes of lilac, filled the branches with a blossom of oats, and went to bed. And woke up the next morning sick, but still survived.

Jean and Julia hear the approaching singing of the courtyards – they seem to be heading for the kitchen. In no case should they be allowed to be seen together! We need to hide! Jean on his knees begs Julia: they can not go to Christine’s room, the only one is his, Jean! Does he give a word that he will behave wisely? – asked frenkien significantly.

In the kitchen enter festively dressed households and peasants, they drink and dance, but then after a while leave.

Returned by Jean and Julia. Both have one idea – they need to leave immediately! But where? To Switzerland! suggests Jean. They will open a first-class hotel there. They are waiting for a new nature, new languages, and they will not have a moment of idleness or peace for empty dreams and dreams. Day and night the bell will ring over the front door, the trains will sound, omnibuses will come and go, and gold will be poured into their desk.

And Julia? What will Julia do there? She will be the mistress of the house and the decoration of the firm… With her manners and Jean’s experience, his knowledge of the hotel business – success is assured! But you need capital? He will get Julia – this will be her contribution to the common cause. But she has no options! Then they will not go anywhere, and she will remain here, in the count’s house, his mistress. But she will not do it! She has pride! Does Jean really dislike her? Oh, how she now hates him, a scoundrel and a boor! And what about his stories? He wanted to die because of her? Nothing like this. The story of the Lara with oats and lilacs, Jean subtracted from the newspaper. She happened to a chimneysweeper who decided to commit suicide when he was sentenced to pay money to support the child. However, Julia loves him, Jean, no more than he loves her. In fact, she hates men, this kind of raised her mother, for the rest of his life the nerve-wracked Count. If Julia wants to run, let her run alone. And is it worth running at all? To torture each other to death? No, to enjoy life two or three years, and then die. But Jean is not going to die.

Julia goes to change clothes and collect things, and to Jean in the kitchen Christina joins. She understands: between him and the young lady something happened, most likely, “great stupidity.” Now he and Jean have to look for a new place: you can not wait for the owners, whom you do not respect. Christina goes out.

Julia reappears. She now has money – she hacked upstairs a locker with gold and jewels. At first, they are enough, now they can run. But what is she holding in her hand? It? A cage with a favorite cage. She can not leave him in the wrong hands. What nonsense and nonsense! And the footman quickly snatches the bird’s head with a knife. Julia beats in hysterics. Let him kill her too! His hand will not falter!

Christina enters. Julia rushes to her in the hope of finding sympathy. But the cook pushes it away. She will not allow Julia to deceive Zhana with her. Julia is in despair. She suggests running three together. Christina will be in charge of their kitchen with Jean Hotel. She will see Europe! He will visit museums, in the magic castles of Ludwig of Bavaria – the king, who went crazy. And then Christina will marry a rich Englishman. But the cook can not be fooled: the lady herself does not believe in what she says.

Christina approaches Jean – he is shaving at the same time – he decided to escape? And what? Is Yulia’s plan bad? It is quite feasible. No! Christina will never go to the service of a fallen woman! Now she, Christina, goes to church, but it would not hurt and Jean to receive forgiveness from the Lord for his sins! And on the way, Christina will go to the groom and tell him that he does not give horses to anyone today!

Julia is in utter confusion. In her condition, sleepless night and wine drunk. What would Jean do if he were an aristocrat and he was in her place? Is not this? Julia takes the razor from Jean and makes a characteristic gesture. Jean agrees: probably, he would do just that. But do not forget: he is a man, and she is a woman.

In the kitchen a bell rings. It comes from the negotiation device held from above from the master’s chambers. The count has already arrived and requires cleaned boots. They will be ready in half an hour! the footman answers with servility.

So, in half an hour! Julia is in a dullness. She is so tired that she can not do anything anymore – she can not run or stay, she does not want to live. Let Jean, he is so strong, order her what she needs, but is afraid to do it! She is so tired that she will carry out his orders. Jean has never seen a hypnotist in the theater? Let him order! She is already half asleep, everything floats before her eyes.

Julia describes to Jean the state of hypnotic sleep and imperceptibly falls into trance. She waits for the order. Jean hesitates, he is afraid of a count’s shout. Finally in the kitchen there are two short calls. Jean shudders, he tells Julia: “It’s terrible, but there’s no other way out! .. Go!” Julia steps out the door with a firm step.

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“Freken Julia” Strindberg in brief summary