A Beautiful Mind Analysis

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In A Beautiful Mind, director Ron Howard uses symbolism to show the danger of using isolation as a method of coping with problems. This film sheds some light on the horrors of a mental illness and advocates the importance of accepting others’ help. When John Nash is suffering from schizophrenia, the contrast between darkness and bright lighting is a metaphor for the darkness he surrounds himself with despite his wife’s attempts to help. The venetian blinds obscuring his face when he stands at his window symbolize the confinement of isolation.

In a noir thriller styled scene, ‘Agent Parcher’ drives a terrified Nash on a dangerous car chase. The lack of light in this sequence creates a stark contrast with the warm, golden glow of his lounge
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Backlighting is used to make Alicia appear angelic, allowing the audience to make the inference that she is Nash’s saviour. He then angrily turns off the light, extending his darkness outwards. Nash thinks that he could manage on his own but in reality, not only did he deny Alicia the chance to help him, he also dragged her into his darkness. The director uses the metaphor of darkness extinguishing light to symbolise the negative effect Nash’s refusal has on Alicia as well as himself. Nash’s schizophrenia relentlessly traps him because he is extinguishing the light of other people’s help before they have a chance to reach him. In dark times, Nash needs to confront his problems with his wife. Perhaps he felt that it would be cowardly to accept her help for an issue that’s not tangible. Those who suffer from mental illnesses often feel helpless and alone. A reason is because it’s extremely difficult to actually admit that they’re ill. This made me think of the quote, “But a mermaid has no tears, and so she suffers so much more,” from The Little Mermaid. Nash confides in no-one, like a mermaid weeping silently and invisibly. This makes the audience feel sympathy for Nash, who had to bear the whole burden on his own shoulders. We also pity Alicia, because she must feel utterly exasperated and unable to help. This shows that when stricken with mental illnesses, the patient isn’t the only one that suffers. The darkness extends outwards, trapping the family and friends as

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