Harold and Maude an Analysis

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We are born into this world with the realization that life is hard and that life is like a box of chocolates and it is hard to take it at face value. The majority of our time is spent trying to answer an endless stream of questions only to find the answers to be a complex path of even more questions. This film tells the story of Harold, a twenty year old lost in life and haunted by answerless questions. Harold is infatuated with death until he meets a good role model in Maude, an eighty year old woman that is obsessed with life and its avails. However, Maude does not answer all of Harold's questions but she leads him to realize that there is a light at the end of everyone's tunnel if you pursue it to utmost extremes by being whatever you want to be. Nevertheless, they are a highly unlikely match but they obviously help each other in many ways in the film. Maude introduces Harold to the circle of life and liberates him from the self-imposed prison and loveless life he has endured since he was born. Harold was born an only child who was raised by a single mom. His mom seeks control of all aspects of his life and she shows virtually no affection to him at all. She wants him to fit in with society and abide by the common norms in society. She gives him no chance to think for himself as she speaks for him all the time (filling out the dating form, talking for him when his dates came to visit him). She serves as a static nuisance to remind Harold of his past more than anything else. This is why I think Harold has an extreme fascination with death in all its forms. He performs various suicides much to the displeasure of his mother. It seemed as if Harold never got past Erikson's stage of autonomy. The sense of autonomy fostered in Harold at a young age was denied to him by his mother as she controlled him. In contrast, Maude played a better role model to him than his mother. She acted wild and crazy and continually demonstrated freedom. A freedom that his mother never...
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