I argue the seven virtues instead of the seven deadly sins because the children are a bit rotten in the beginning; however, they warm-up to Maria (Julie Andrews) quickly.
Liesl (Charmian Carr) represents Patience. She waits patiently for Rolfe (Daniel Truhitte). Even when she is upset or angry, she waits and resolves the disagreement quietly as opposed to getting irrationally angry. When she is upset with Rolfe calling her a baby, she solves the conflict with silent looks of irritation rather than angry words. She also “learn[s] to accept” that few telegrams are being delivered by Rolfe recently. While many other virtues could be applied to Liesl, I think this epitomizes her the most.
Friedrich (Nicholas Hammond) is Diligence. He is described as “impossible” by one of the governesses, which relates to this virtuous characterization because his attention to his activities makes him dedicated and focused. He is also the one who informs the baroness (Eleanor Parker) that she is playing the game wrong. He pays close attention and has no problem pointing out mistakes.
Kurt (Duane Chase) embodies Temperance or Abstinence. He was described as “incorrigible” because he is persistent and his self-control allows him to keep focused on his goals. He is also attributed with being worried about the girls during the thunderstorm showing he is mindful of others. He keeps his mind on the situation so he doesn’t “show how hurt he is when [his father] push[es] him aside”. He is also the one who brings up the “Von Trapp Family Dancers” because he is aware of the exploitation of the family. He may seem young, but he has perspective in mind at all times.
Brigitta (Angela Cartwright) shows Humility. She gives Maria credit for being “smart” and shows respect for her new governess early in their relationship. She would also say “nothing” is wrong when Maria is gone instead of hurting the feelings of either Uncle Max (Richard Haydn) or the baroness. She steps away from the group singing instead of causing problems.
Marta (Debbie Turner) represents Generosity because, even when we first meet her, she does not ask for much. She asks for “a pink parasol” for her birthday as opposed to a pony or a huge doll house. She is practical, not outrageous.
Another reason I want to think about virtues instead of vices in this film is because I feel all characters show virtues. They try to focus on the good instead of bad. That is why the Nazi plot almost goes unnoticed in this film.
While these virtues could be applied to multiple characters in this film, I feel these characterizations are most accurate. The children are angels with Maria compared to how they treated their other governesses.
Another analysis I did not have space to go into is how cultural and social expectations effect the different people and groups in this film. Thank you Cassandra for your insight!!
The many love triangles are unavoidable in this film: Maria, Captain, and Baroness; Rolfe, Liesl, and Nazis; and even Austria, Nazis, and Family.
Tropes and idioms! Enjoy!
Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave requests or ideas below in the comments. I welcome all perspectives!