Daughters and dating questionaire
Maude regales Harold with tales of her experiences in her younger days; he seeks her help when about to be drafted: MAUDE: With your skill and my experience… Harold has a few well-developed skills, but little experience.
Maude has mastered many skills and gone onto others, and has accumulated a wealth of experience. 98)Maude is disturbed by what she believes is Harold’s slightly inaccurate take on life : MAUDE: .
Ruth Gordon is poor but spunky Maude, the wizened 79-year-old woman who’s like a cheerleader for Life. 17-19)Largely ignored by his mother, Harold lacks feelings of self-worth.
Harold’s social life revolves around rituals of death.
He attends funerals, visits automobile graveyards, watches buildings come down, and shocks his domineering mother with his fake suicides. 43)At their first meeting, Maude offers to give Harold a ride in the hearse she’s taken from him; later, she shows him all the things she’s collected over her life, and gives him a banjo; at story’s end, Maude takes her own life and gives Harold a new-found freedom.
Harold tests people’s sense of humor and gullibility by faking suicide; Mrs.
Chasen gets pre-screened dates from the dating agency for Harold; she fills in the dating questionnaire herself, to get Harold a date suitable to her; the psychiatrist examines Harold’s feelings; Harold tests Uncle Victor’s limits by “killing” Maude. Chasen thinks it’s time for Harold to get married, so she sets up dates for him; the unconventional Maude causes Harold to re-think the conventional viewpoints he’s picked up from his mother; Harold’s exposure to Maude’s positive thoughts on life, growth, and love lead him away from thoughts of death. Chasen and Uncle Victor apply conventional wisdom to what they see as Harold’s problem: institutionalize him, if not in marriage then in the Army; Mrs. Chasen’s efforts to change Harold’s lifestyle become more and more drastic: she enlists the help of the Psychiatrist, a dating service, a new car, and finally Uncle Victor’s military service.