英语电影教程 Unit 8 Essence of life（The Sound of Music） 连载2
Interview between Ms Zhu and Jean Bonk
Z: Jean, in the film The Sound of Music, at the very beginning, we know, Maria doesn’t fit in the life in the Abbey because they have very strict rules. Can you give us more information about the church life at that time and the life in the 1990s?
J: In the 1930s, the Catholic Church had women called nuns who wanted to dedicate themselves totally to doing what God wanted them to do. So what they would do is to go into an abbey, a big home, often almost like a castle but very simple, very simplistic. And they would cut themselves off from their family and their friends. They would leave all their clothes behind like Maria did. They would dress themselves in the black and white habit. They would spend time giving to the poor so that they would please God more. They did not want to be distracted by things in the world like raising a family, having a job, having to make a living, many things in the world that world keep them from focusing on God, on prayer, and giving to the poor. They want to be free to do that. So that’s why they want to seclude themselves to the world.
Now it is changing. In the last twenty or thirty years, nuns have changed their costumes. Now they wear what everybody else wears. Often they live in the cities in houses with other, maybe other nuns, maybe with their family. They sometimes help the inner city children that are poor. They might teach in the university. They might teach in a medical hospital. They might be nurses. They might be social workers. They can do all sorts of things. They can sing. Even in the abbeys now, they have lots of singing. They have lots of laughter. Things are much more relaxed now with the sisters. And they are more approachable. They are not secluded. And I think today Maria might have been able to fit into and must be able to fit into the abbey in the 1990s.
Z: Maria has made the decision to give her life to God, but the Reverend Mother asks her to work outside the abbey for a while, why did she make that decision?
J: The Reverend Mother was a very good, a very wise woman, and she understood human nature. She looked at Maria and she saw that her personality was very spontaneous, very impulsive, very impulsive, very full of life, very full of singing.
Maria said herself that she couldn’t help but sing. And as the Reverend Mother looked at Maria, she thought how she can stay in this abbey where we are quiet, where we go about our work, where we don’t sing, where often quite solemn, and she thought Maria doesn’t fit (there) here. And she said to Maria the love of a man and a woman is holy too. You can live in the world, you can love a man and still please God. God is not pleased only with women who live in an abbey, he is also pleased with women who followed him in the world who please him by loving a man, by loving children. And so (the Mother,) the Reverend Mother saw the big picture of Maria. She saw that Maria could love God in the abbey or out the abbey.
Z: Maria knows that the children will give her a test and it’s not easy for her to handle seven children, but she managed eventually. How did she win over the children’s love and respect?
J: Maria naturally loved children. You could tell that right at the beginning when (the governess) the Reverend Mother asked her she would go and look after the children. She was quite pleased even though she said seven children. I think Maria put herself in the place of the children and I think she thought how I would like to be treated if I was one of these children. And so she thought I would like to be called by my name. I wouldn’t like to respond to a whistle. And so she immediately made them personal by calling them by name. And she also went to talk to them and told them that she had never been a governess before and what she should do to be a good governess. And that made the children feel very important. They had something good to say and some good advice to give her.【这句话写得好像有些问题——孩子们貌似说的“建议”都是反话】
And she made them to realize she wasn’t going to be the boss. She wanted to be their friend. And children always liked it if you wanted to be their friend. And Maria was very spontaneous. She liked to have fun. She liked to do different things. And children loved that. She was very imaginative, she was very free-spirited. She was also very understanding. When they were scared, she didn’t make fun of them and told them to go back to bed. She said “Come up on my bed” and then she started singing with them. So she didn’t put them down and made them feel like they were silly, like their father tended to do. She also encouraged the children to enjoy nature and they would go on picnics and do all sorts of things in the boat. She also made them feel a little guilty when they found that she really loved them and that she really felt hurt when they were mean to her. So I think it helped them to be sensitive and realize that she was a real person, she wasn’t just a governess. So overall I think that Maria won their love because she loved them just as they were. She accepted them for who they were. And people always appreciate that when we love them for who they are.
Z: Jean, could you please say something about the relationship among the Captain, Maria and the Baroness? Why did he choose Maria instead of the Baroness to be his wife eventually?
J: The Captain was very cynical about life. I think that he had never properly dealt with his first wife’s death. So he tried to block everything out that reminded him of his first wife. He blocked out music from the house. He didn’t want to get close to his children because maybe he might get hurt again by them. So he kept himself at a distance from his children emotionally. And they wanted to love him but he never let them. And then Maria steps into the picture and she is exactly the opposite of what he is. She loves his children. She brings music into the home.
But at this time, the Captain is very focused on the Baroness and is planning on marrying her because the Baroness has a lot of common interest to the Captain. She is from the same social rank, she has the same kind of life as he does. She has lots of money. They have a lot of similarities as far as socially goes. Now if we look at the Baroness, she had everything that she wanted materially. She, I think, loved the Captain in her own way. But as she said to the Captain she needed a love herself. So in a way the Baroness didn’t have love to give, not the love that the Captain needed. He needed an unselfish, warm, spontaneous, non-calculating love. The Baroness only knew how to give him material gifts and tried to satisfy him that way. But she couldn’t give up herself because she needed love herself. She didn’t have love to give him, pure love.
Maria’s love for the Captain almost came about as a surprise. It almost slipped up on her. I don’t think she even realized that she loved him till the high climax, when she realized it was when they were dancing on the balcony. But he needed her love because her love was God’s love. She loved him in spite of his being a very cold man, a very sort of distant man. She loved him for who he was. She loved him. I think she did fall in love with him in spite of how he treated her because he didn’t always treat her very nicely. But she didn’t really think of getting love back from him. She thought of only loving him. And that’s why he needed her. He needed her warm, spontaneous, impulsive love. And her love changed him so that he became loving himself because often if we love other people, they love us back, they can help themselves. So he became also loving to his children because of Maria’s example of love.
Z: The Reverend Mother played a very important role in Maria’s life. And what do you think of her philosophy of life?
J: The Reverend Mother definitely was a Christian person and she believed in God’s love for her and God’s love for other human beings. And her philosophy was to love God back, to love God by being who he made her to be, by being who he made Maria to be. And she believed that every person is given certain gifts and abilities. Maria was given the gift of loving children, of being a family person. And she said “we ought to be what God makes us to be”. And so Maria was most fulfilled in her life by being a mother, by being a wife to the Captain.
The Reverend Mother was most fulfilled by being a nun, and by being what God has asked her to be, ---praying, helping the poor. So we can love God, and if we really love God, she believed we can do what we please we can do what he made us to do.
She also believes that we can’t escape our problems. We have to face our problems,”climb every mountain” so that when some difficulties come up, we can’t just bury our head in sand. With God’s help, she believes that we can face the problems, and solve them. She was a great encouragement to Maria. And I think she realized she could encourage other people. Even at the end, when Maria and the Captain decided to climb the mountain, she said to them “I will lift up my eyes on to the hills from when comth my help”. You know she was pouting something from the Christian Bible. And actually the next line in the Bible says “my help comes from the Lord”. So I think the Mother she appears overall view of life was a very Christian view because she was a believer and that she thought she could love (Lord) God by helping others, by encouraging others.