Maria von Trapp

Maria von Trapp

    The Sound of Music
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... religious. Maria thought her calling was to become a nun, but she is finding out that she may not be suited for the religious life. Although Maria has already "pledged [her] life to God," her playful nature often puts her at odds with the more serious nuns around her. She much rather explore the bucolic Austrian countryside instead of attending prayers. The Abbess sends her to work as a governess to re-examine her commitment to a life of religion.

Living... in a mansion that belongs to Captain Georg von Trapp, her new employer. Although she finds the Captain tediously by-the-book, Maria takes more quickly to his seven children, whose initial resistance quickly evaporates in the wake of Maria's loving nature.

Profession... governess. With a song always on her lips and her heart on her sleeve, Maria is the kind of governess every kid dreams of: cheerful, patient, and endlessly sweet. (And “governess” sounds much cooler than “nanny.”) I mean, what’s not to love about a girl so upbeat that she “can’t seem to stop singing wherever I am”? Little wonder, then, that she brings so much joy to the formerly gray von Trapp household.

Interests... music, nature, and bringing joy to others. Although her carefree ways makes life in the Abbey hard, Maria's love for life is what makes her a perfect governess for the von Trapps.

Relationship Status... single. As a nun, Maria isn't supposed to have any romantic feelings, but that doesn't mean she's immune to the charms of young love, especially after Captain von Trapp's strict exterior begins to crack.

Challenge... bringing back joy into the von Trapp family. Ever since his wife died, the Captain has run his household like a military operation: strict rules, regimented activities, and absolutely no margin for disobedience. It's a tough environment for any child to grow up in, much less seven grieving ones. And as Maria struggles to win over Captain von Trapp, Nazi forces are marching closer to Austria...

Personality... free-spirited, caring, and independent. But don’t think that just because she’s a sweetheart, Maria’s a pushover. When Maria gets a cause, she’ll lobby for it, even if it means telling Captain von Trapp the polite version of, “no, YOU’RE wrong.” Luckily for him, Maria gives extremely good advice, and when the Captain actually starts listening to it, he finds himself much happier with both his life and his relationship with his children. Whatever can be said about her, Maria’s definitely a force for good.


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