A Beautiful Mind Analysis

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A Beautiful Mind: Schizophrenia is More than Merely a Cultural Artifact

In the film, “A Beautiful Mind,” the viewer learns about the life of a famous mathematician named John Forbes Nash Jr. The film documents not only Nash’s most crowning achievements but also the obstacles he faced while on his way to these successes. Nash suffers from a mental disorder, known as “Schizophrenia,” whose essential ingredient is “psychosis.” Psychosis is responsible for many changes in a person’s behavior which [usually] result from the views of themselves in relation to the world, especially those around them, that are birthed by psychosis. During an episode of psychosis, also refered to as “psychotic episodes,” a person often experiences “pronoia” or “paranoia.” These two experiences are complete opposites and each come with their difficulties. The most common, and well-known, form of schizophrenia is the one characterized by paranoid psychotic episodes. Because Nash’s schizophrenic episodes are primarily filled with paranoia, the movie’s decision to use Nash’s story helps further the narrative of the prominence of paranoid psychotic episodes in schizophrenic individuals.

Throughout the film, the movie-goer sees the reality of psychotic episodes and the consequences faced by the person who experiences them. Yet, as seen in the film, Nash remains successful in both his professional and personal life despite these episodes. This, I believe, is not only what the film desires to emphasize but also the reason for its creation altogether. Simply put, it is clear the life of Nash would have not been used by the film industry if he would not have been a “success story.” Thus, it is acceptable to assert that the film’s primary mission is to proclaim a person’s ability to be successful even with a mental disorder, such as Schizophrenia, which much of society deems as entirely crippling. Similarly, Nash’s story is a powerful tool in the discussion of the role will plays in the world of mental pathology.

Nash’s life, as portrayed in the movie, seems to serve as a testament that success is possible even with Schizophrenia so long as a person’s will be of a certain degree. But, when examined more closely, what appears to be concrete

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