A Beautiful Mind
Personal Lessons and Insights

February 8, 2002

1.

Brief Plot Summary

A brilliant mathematician is forced to deal with schizophrenia.

2.

Interest Character

I found Alicia Nash (Jennifer Connelly), John Nash's wife, to be an interesting character. After she found out about John's mental illness, she stayed with him through all of the treatments, and acted as a guardian for him when she brought him back home. Even though it was not the best thing for her, she felt responsible for helping him lead a life where he could honestly believe in his delusions without restriction. Even after he becomes distanced from her and the world, she never let go. Even though it was conducted in a manner that was self-harming, her refusal to leave John and get a better life for her and her child was probably the only thing that allowed John to recover and overcome his illness.

3.

Interesting Scene

The scene where Nash accepts his illness was interesting. After nearly letting his child drown, and accidentally hitting his wife while 'saving' her from one of his delusions, Alicia attempts to leave him and take their child with her. It is as she is pulling away that John really starts to think about the characters that had been taking up almost every moment of his time. By stopping and evaluating the situation, rather than trying to keep up with the frantic pace his own paranoia had set, he was able to discern that his delusions never aged, a truth he was not able to cover up with another imagined explanation.

4.

Something this film made me think about.

This film made me think about how people have a tenancy to convince themselves of truths in order to quell their own remorse, guilt, or others negative feelings. Although it was a somewhat different situation with Nash (his delusions were so realistic they had to be true), it is still the same basic principle. I have betrayed what I know to be right on occasion, and as a human tendency I tried to convince myself that what I had done was not really bad, or some other story in order to deal with my own conscience. Although I am usually able to see through such self-lies, the soothing of your conscience is a very powerful offer. I believe that the appropriate response to this self-cheating is to sit back and evaluate the situation you are in to see why you are betraying your own sense of right and wrong. Judge the situation to make sure you don't go too far past your own code of ethics, and make sure the prize is worth the effort. If I had followed that suggestion during the various times I have cheated myself, there would be no guilt to my actions as I would have though them out fully and clearly at the time.


Original Web Upload February 2002
Last Update: February 8, 2002