Schizophrenic Creativity in Nasar's A Beautiful Mind and Ron Howard's Movie

Schizophrenic Creativity in Nasar's A Beautiful Mind and Ron Howard's Movie

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Schizophrenic Creativity in Nasar's A Beautiful Mind and Ron Howard's Movie


In Ron Howard's (2001) A Beautiful Mind, Russell Crowe gives life to Sylvia Nasar's depiction of the schizophrenic genius John Nash in her novel of the same title. Both Nasar and Howard try to depict Nash's creative genius in an effort to unlock understanding of the creative process. The underlying reality of Nash's psychological creative process may never fully be realized due to the extreme difficulty of coherently portraying the mind of a schizophrenic, however the relationships between the portrayals of Nash through each medium shed light on Howard's own view of the creative process. Howard's decision to depict a rather coherent case of schizophrenia directly relates to the overall depiction of the creative process as something at once logical and irrational, fantastic and grounded in reality.

Although there are some inconsistencies between Nasar's novel and Howard's movie and even between Nasar's book and what some reviews have claimed to be the truth of Nash's life, these inconsistencies can be analyzed and understood to be intentional enlightening hints as to both Nasar's and Howard's views of what the creative process exactly was for John Nash. Ron Howard takes a very interesting diversion from Nasar's text right from the beginning of the movie in an effort to project a fairly
consistent portrayal of Nash's creative process from the very beginning of his signs of genius. Howard decides to initiate Nash's case of schizophrenia from the very outset of Nash's ability to think creatively. Nasar clearly presents Nash as a strong intellectual student who, however asocial, is not insane up through the age of thirty. Howard does arguably port...


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...o which John Nash's Game Theory was applicable to the real world. Thus, Howard defines the creative process of John Nash as basically very idealized and, to some extent, mild version of schizophrenia. Although Nash did win the Nobel Prize, Howard overlooks the opinions held by many that the Game Theory didn't, in fact, merit the Nobel Prize. Thus, to Howard, the creative process has very little connection, if any, to any art that is subsequently produced. To Howard, the creative process is a journey to learn knowledge firsthand, pioneering through the mind no matter how grounded in reality.

Works Cited

Charles, Marilyn. "A Beautiful Mind." American Journal of Psychoanalysis. NY, 2003.

Myerson, Roger B. "Nash Equilibrium and the History of Economic Theory." Journal of Economic Literature, 1999.

Nasar, Sylvia. A Beautiful Mind. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1999.

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