The Ethics of "A Beautiful Mind"

3616 Words Oct 17th, 2009 15 Pages
IntroductionBy examining the basic content sketch of the movie, A Beautiful Mind, and actual events that occurred in John Nash's life, many ethical concerns will be addressed. Movies like A Beautiful Mind create and amplify many ethical concerns relating to the portrayal of mental illnesses and how society views them. The identity of the ethical concerns exposed in a popular media event, the ethical dilemmas presented and an ethical theory that is used to address public concerns when a major form of entertainment is used to misinform and the values exposed in an art form using distortion for entertainment are all ethical concerns that occur within this film, and through other entertainments. The concern lies in the social responsibility …show more content…
After his initial diagnosis, Nash is subjected to shock therapy and strong medication. The medication did help him, but he found that his mathematical and cognitive abilities were severely diminished so he stopped taking it. The movie has his wife faithfully standing by his side throughout his life offering continued support and his friends offering varying degrees of support, including a position on the faculty that is more honorary than anything. His illness did not readily pose a direct threat to anyone nor was he physically violent to those around him. The instance where he nearly downed his infant son was an exception rather than the norm and even then he believed the baby was under supervision. The end of the movie shows Nash receiving the Nobel Prize for his doctoral thesis in 1994 with an interview being conducted to ascertain his sanity. Nash claims he is sane under his current medication.

Dr. John Nash, the real person, led a much harder life. After his diagnosis, his wife divorced him in 1963 fearing safety, but did reunite in a non-romantic relationship several years later and ultimately remarrying in 2001. During their co-habitation, his wife referred to Nash as a boarder and their living arrangement similar to that of distant relatives (Nasar, 1998). At one point, he fled to Europe seeking refuse from his attackers. In his 1994 autobiography, Nash states his release from the mental hospitals was

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