Film Analysis Harold and Maude

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In Hal Ashby’s film titled Harold and Maude, a very odd relationship is formed between a young man entering his early twenties and a 79-year-old woman who are both intrigued by attending funerals. Harold, who is portrayed by Bud Cort, is a young man with a very wealthy family that is strangely fascinated by death. He performs multiple suicide stunts in front of his mother and acts as if he killed himself.

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On the other hand, Maude who is played by Ruth Gordon is an old woman who does not live by following the rules and chooses to live life to the fullest by doing whatever she pleases. Throughout the film, there are many gems and symbols represented in the film that makes it very attentive and amusing.

To begin with, a very powerful symbol is introduced in the middle of the film when Harold and Maude decide to return a tree to the forest from the city. In my opinion, the tree resembles a new life for Harold that is filled with joy. Before meeting Maude he was a very quiet boy who felt being dead feels better than living and enjoying life. He’d symbolize this by wearing very dark attires, performing multiple pranks that lead people to believe he’s dead, and also attending funerals just for the fun of it.

Now when Maude takes the tree to the forest to give the tree life back in its natural habitat, it’s almost as if the tree represents Harold because ever since forming his bond with Maude he’s been taught to enjoy life to the fullest.

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