What is the significance of the canary in the play?
The canary is a symbol that directly relates to Julie. Like the bird, she is caged. All of her desires from the deepest places within her are imprisoned, and she yearns to be set free. She believes that Jean is the one that will set her free from this cage, but he does not. He is the one who kills the bird. This is a symbol that just like the bird, Jean is killing Julie's inner life and dreams. He is killing her freedom.
How does the story of elderberry blossoms relate to Julie and Jean?
Jean as a child was in love with a pretty girl who turned out to be Miss Julie. He desired to love her, but his love was unrequited. She didn't even pay attention to him. Because of the great pain he felt from this rejection he wanted to die. Because he heard that elderberry blossoms are poisonous if eaten he gathered them together and ate them. But, he didn't die he only had very serious pains in his stomach. This teaches him that the pain of love isn't one that will kill a man, but it will certainly torture him.
Why is Julie's upbringing so important in this play?
Julie was raised non-traditionally by her mother. This means that her mother did not raise her as one would expect a normal girl to be raised. Instead, she taught Julie how to do work than women didn't do in her social class, such as a cleaning a horse and even going hunting. Julie was raised to have contempt for men, and this childhood upbringing changes who she is at present day in the play, thus having a great effect on her relationship with Jean as her desire is to break free from the cage of the world she was raised in and lives in.
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