Grounded Theory Analysis of "A Beautiful Mind" (Prologue)

Topics: Schizophrenia, Mental disorder, Delusional disorder Pages: 18 (5150 words) Published: March 26, 2011
Grounded Theory Analysis of "A Beautiful Mind" (Prologue)

Ms.Prakriti Gupta (B.A. Honors Applied Psychology)

Faculty of Arts; University of Delhi, Delhi.

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A Grounded Theory Analysis of “A Beautiful Mind” (Prologue)

Ms. Prakriti Gupta (B.A. Honors Applied Psychology)

Faculty of Arts, University of Delhi, Delhi

The present paper is the grounded theory analysis of the prologue of the book- "A Beautiful Mind" by Sylvia Nasar. The grounded Theory analysis has been done keeping in mind the whole story and a final selective code in the form of a semi theory has been chosen. The Analysis builds on the sensitivity of the whole issue as well as the beauty of the relationships it encompasses.


Giftedness (genius) is a trait where the individual deviates from normality but tends towards being above average and not abnormality per se. In order to be able to understand the relationship between genius and abnormality both of which are deviations from normality; the text that I chose is John Nash’s biography by Sylvia Nasar, A Beautiful Mind. This book tells the story of John Nash in carefully documented detail, based on hundreds of interviews with friends, family, acquaintances, and colleagues, as well as a study of available documents. In “A Beautiful Mind” Slyvia Nasar the economics correspondent of The New York Times tells the story of Nobel Prize winner John Nash who had the same mental illness that affects 1 in 100 people across cultures: schizophrenia. (Jo Kadlecek, 2002) He has experienced many of the same symptoms as others stricken with the disease: delusions, frequent auditory hallucinations, illusions that messages are being sent to him through television or newspapers, a skewed view of reality leading to paranoia. (Jo Kadlecek, 2002) And like many who have struggled to live functional lives with the illness, he has watched his personal relationships dissolve, his career interrupted and his life disintegrate. (Jo Kadlecek, 2002)

Nasar was trained in economics and not in mathematics but still provides a background as well as an extended description for all of Nash’s major work. She has gone to great lengths to give vivid descriptions of places as well as people that played a major role in the course of his life. There is however a central dilemma surrounding the book i.e. the fact that it is an unauthorised biography that has been written without the subjects consent or cooperation. Nash’s mathematical ability was accompanied by a wild chaotic personal life; this chaos finally welled up, spilled over and led to the dissolution of his carefully constructed life. This book follows the story of this mathematical genius, a story that had never been written; since anyone who knew him did not want to put schizophrenia on record as Nash had already suffered so much. (Jo Kadlecek, 2002)

A Beautiful Mind is a story of a mathematical genius who rose to fame due to his creativity and was finally engulfed by the same and trapped within his own mind. It is the story of his fight to retain his mental capacity and receive recognition from others; finally to have his mental illness go into a mysterious remission and come out a winner.

At this point it is important to understand what schizophrenia as a mental disorder entails. It is one of the most severe mental disorders that affect’s approximately 1% of the total population. It is a disorder that affects men one and half times more than women. Being a psychotic mental disorder it is characterised by symptoms of thought, behaviour and social problems. It commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions and disorganised speech or thought; accompanied by significant loss in normal functioning of the individual.

Since the whole biography is...
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