Analysis of the Movie Harold and Maude- A Cult Classic Essay

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Harold and Maude is a cult classic from the 1970’s that defined film making today. The movie based around a young man named Harold Chasen, and an old woman Maude. Harold seems to have a bizarre psychological fascination with death. While Maude is also interested in death; she enjoys living as well and has lived her life to the fullest. Both are brought together while attending funerals simply because they enjoy them. Maude begins to influence and change Harold’s perceptions and attitudes about life. Harold and Maude are polar opposite, in age, but the time they spend together will help Harold live his life better and more fulfillingly. Before Harold meets Maude, he is a disturbed individual with no friends. Harold, who performs…show more content…
LIVE!” Maude shares many of these ideas and beliefs with Harold, teaching him to dance, play the banjo, and just enjoy being alive, not dead. Harold was unaware that when he met Maude, she had planed all along to end her life at the age of eighty. She says several times throughout the movie, “Did you know I’ll be eighty on Saturday”. Her decision to commit suicide shows that Maude feels she has done her part in helping Harold be a happier person and has succeeded in teaching him how to love and enjoy life, which are qualities he did not possess prior to their meeting. She makes him understand this when, after he tells her he loves her, she says, “Go and love some more.” After Maude’s death, Harold drives his car over a cliff in another attempt to make people believe he is dead again. Harold walks away playing his banjo and dancing, things that Maude had taught him. By driving his car over the cliff to make people think he is dead again makes Harold happy since he enjoys being dead, but the banjo and Harold’s dancing are symbols of the effects of his relationship with Maude. These signify that Harold has grown due to his relationship with Maude and will use the advice that Maude has given him in order to live a more fulfilling and enjoyable life. Because this film is so influenced by it’s time, it seems appropriate that the director used the music of Cat Stevens. Cat Stevens music defined a generation, and Harold and Maude are no exception. Both are
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