Intended as a single, gigantic play, Lulu was published in two parts: Earth Spirit (1895) and Pandora’s Box (1902). In contrast to The Awakening of Spring, the tragedy of Lulu has its source in sex itself rather than in the restrictions placed on sex by society. It shows “the inevitable and irresolvable clash between the instincts and civilization” (ibid., 34). The play is also a work of social criticism: in Lulu, “sexual desire, oblivious to the differences of wealth and social position, exposes the artificiality of class distinctions” (ibid.).
While Wedekind wrote all this with the express aim of shocking his audience, he had much more in mind than titillation. Through his use of exaggerated sexuality, Wedekind sought to strip away the veneer of false morality behind which the hypocritical fin de siecle bourgeoisie cowered.
"I wanted to exclude all ideas which are logically untenable, such as love, loyalty, gratitude," Wedekind wrote about the Lulu plays. There is no bourgeois morality, Wedekind is saying, and therefore there can be no bourgeois tragedy. We are nothing more than animals in human costume.