Benefits of teaching “Harold and Maude” in a classroom.
(I wrote something for school because I’m cool like that.)
Let’s dive right in, because I think that the very best argument for including Harold & Maude in teaching is what happened directly after me and my classmates had viewed it. A few of us went out for lunch, and without even really considering the fact that it was something we “should” do, we started discussing the film. Why did Harold fall for Maude, when she was not classically beautiful, or within his age-group by any stretch of the imagination? Furthermore, why was it jarring for some to see a young man fall for a much older woman? And why do we consider to the situation portrayed in the film as abnormal, when it is quite common in the world of cinema to see a older man fall for a considerably younger woman? These are the kind of discussions that I feel are important to have, and the kind of questions that I think everyone need to consider. Beyond the film having value simply for English teaching (which it of course has), I feel it has value for teaching in general, simply because these questions need to be considered and discussed in order to keep them as relevant as they deserve to be.