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A Beautiful Mind

Essay by review  •  December 17, 2010  •  Essay  •  394 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,156 Views

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A Beautiful Mind

As a young boy, John Nash detached himself from all outside contact and surrounded himself with books. Early isolation led to his antisocial behavior and disregard for other human beings he found to be inferior to his intellectual level. Nash's parents constantly attempted to make John into more of a "well-rounded student;" he did so, however, without becoming attached to anyone or anything. His social immaturity would plague him throughout his life and would make him an outcast in the eyes of fellow students in high school and college. Some of his childish pranks involved causing an explosion in a chemistry lab, shocking people by running a current through his arms, and replacing a light bulb in a light fixture with water. A Beautiful Mind successfully shows John Nash's development from a child into an eventual mathematical genius.

A Beautiful Mind portrays Nash as a lonely human being trapped in his own world; a world that may have led to his eventual schizophrenia. Nash's behavior as a child and as a college student provides hints of possible psychological problems prior to his illness. Despite his weird, psychological quirks, people considered him a genius. His studies at Princeton University allowed close contact with other great scientists such as John Von Neumann and Albert Einstein, who served as inspiration on his Nobel Prize winning. A Beautiful Mind explains in detail the development and cause of such a great center of mathematicians at the beginning of the Cold War. Nash became part of the research team on game theory at a military installation in California, an assignment that heightened Nash's paranoia about a possible nuclear attack. At age thirty, John Nash shocked the university with a claim that "abstract powers from outer space, or perhaps it was foreign governments, were communicating with him" through the newspaper. Schizophrenia enveloped his life, and he constantly struggled with the illness for the next thirty years. Once reigning as a mathematical genius, Nash wandered about the university, considered "mad" by others. A Beautiful Mind allows us to see into the mind of a schizophrenic genius. We are able to imagine the fear and paranoia schizophrenics deal with on a day to day basis.

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