Class conflict is a universal theme that can be seen in Miss Julie. Much of the action of Miss Julie focuses on the conflict between the upper and lower classes. Both Julie and Jean are unhappy with their class positions. Julie is an aristocrat that has a recurring dream that she is at the top a pillar but wants to come down to the ground. Jean, the servant, also has a recurring dream that he conversely sees himself struggling to climb a tree in order to obtain the golden eggs at the top. Julie, although she is mistress of the house, attends and participates in the servants' parties. Jean is fussy about his food and drink, speaks with somewhat of an attitude, and plans to escape his role as a servant, open his own hotel, and become a count like his employer.
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Modern audiences can still relate to this play because in some way almost all of face class conflict every day. Lots of people strive to be something they’re not every day or wonder what it is’s like to be in a different/higher social position for various personal reasons. Many people look at their status today and wish it was something different than reality.
Gender conflict can be talked about as one of the universal themes as well. In Miss Julie, there is some flirtation between Julie and Jean at the beginning of the play, there is no sense that their following sexual encounter coming from love, especially while the other servants sing what Jean says is "a dirty song" about himself and Julie. In addition, when the two come out of Jean's room, Jean confesses that his story of romantic crush for her as a child was just a lie made up to seduce her. When he saw her as a child he tells her, he had the same thoughts all boys have. Julie is disgusted by this. She asks Jean to say he loves her, but her desperate attempt to introduce romance into their relationship does not work.
The play makes it clear that Julie's sexual act with Jean is not romantic but uncontrolled desire. Jean says he has never seen a woman throw herself at a man like Julie did, and that only in animals and whores do that. Julie says that she hates men but she cannot control herself when the weakness comes. Julie's sexuality ultimately leads to her downfall. Her passion for men drives her to sex with lower-class men which will hurt her reputation. Julie's sexual encounter with Jean causes her to breakdown and to be looked down at.
Modern audiences can relate to this because many people have desire for people that may not be socially acceptable so therefore they are forced or told that they should dislike that person.