A Beautiful Mind By John Nash Essay

A Beautiful Mind By John Nash Essay

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“I’m sure I am a schizophrenic, the problem is I cannot tell the difference between which one’s which, which one is the real me” (Nick Rhodes). In A Beautiful Mind, John Nash begins to have schizophrenic symptoms during his graduate years at Princeton University. Just like Rhodes, John is not able to recognize the problem for himself. Schizophrenic individuals deal with situations that they are not able to control. The stigma of schizophrenia categorizes individuals in a situation of no return, and at many times they are highly neglected and judged. Schizophrenia is considered a blemish of individual character as it rarely develops right after birth, but rather in later stages of life. In A Beautiful Mind, the stigma of schizophrenia portrayed by John Nash connotes the idea that such stigma promotes the victim to go through three types of stigma management techniques. Blemish of individual character is only one stigma category; however, in this specific film, John Nash uses the three categories of stigma management: hiding, correcting, and embracing, in order to confront the disease of schizophrenia.
Alongside A Beautiful Mind, the story of John Nash is narrated, a man who experiences a mental disorder that he finds hard to recognize as his own. At the beginning of the film, John is completely clueless that he has schizophrenia. One of John’s peers calls him the “mysterious West Virginian genius,” but no one ever believes he is schizophrenic until he is diagnosed by a psychiatrist. Goffman explains that, “The character we input to the individual might be better seen as an imputation made in potential retrospect, characterization “in effect,” a virtual social identity” (2). Goffman states that individuals who find themselves stig...


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...h disease, one can accomplish great things. As John showed his resignation to the stigma of schizophrenia, Alicia said to him, “Maybe the part that knows the waking from the dream, maybe it isn’t in the mind, maybe it is in the heart” (Howard, A Beautiful Mind). Alicia made John realize that although schizophrenia has no cure yet, there are ways to live with it. John’s lack of power to control the disease disabled him from his high self-esteem for decades, until he uncovered the real solution. After numerous attempts to fight schizophrenia, John Nash decided to accept it as part of his identity. The late development of schizophrenia in John Nash slowed his progress in mathematics, but only encouraged him to find new ways to manage the stigma of schizophrenia, until he understood that there was no better way than to accept it and live with it as part of his identity.

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