Study Guide

The Sound of Music Love

Love

There are all kinds of love in The Sound of Music: family love, romantic love, love of God, country, music, mountains, warm woolen mittens, schnitzel—you name it. The film is basically a love story. (The original working title of the film was Love Song.) Maria's great triumph in the film is convincing Captain von Trapp to open up his heart, allowing him to connect with his children for the first time in years. Of course, it also sets the stage for a Maria-Captain romance.

The message of the film (which lots of critics thought was too corny to be true) seems to be that real love can conquer grief, fear, and hardship. The characters that come off worst in the film are those that can't truly love, like the baroness and Rolfe. Maria's the embodiment of a genuine, simple, loving heart who brings everything and everyone together.

As the song says—one of the few songs in the universe that Rodgers and Hammerstein didn't write—all you need is love.

Questions About Love

  1. What do you think is the most important kind of love portrayed in this movie, and why?
  2. Why do you think Captain von Trapp's response to his wife's death is to shut down his capacity for love?
  3. What role does the Liesl/Rolfe romance play for the movie, overall? It doesn't really go anywhere, so why is it there?

Chew on This

The most important kind of love in this movie is family love. Romance and religion are all well and good, but it's the non-sexy bonds between the family that you can't live without.

The most important kind of love is romantic love. The romance between Captain von Trapp and Maria is the most interesting thing in the movie.