I watched the movie, A Beautiful Mind, based on the book by Sylvia Nasar, not just once but twice. I could not understand what was real and what was in the imagined mind of John Nash, the main character, until I watched the movie all the way through the second time. I found it a bit confusing the way they tried to tell the story of John Nash in graduate school at Princeton in N.J., and then later when he was Professor Dr. John F. Nash, he developed schizophrenia while at M.I.T., and in a relationship with Alicia his wife. Some of this story was real to me because my Uncle Jimmy’s girlfriend Robyn went through similar treatment at the same hospital. McLean Hospital is a psychiatric hospital, in Belmont, Massachusetts, in the same town they live in. I have seen what shock treatment and medication can and cannot do for someone who is mentally ill.
The story started with John Nash sitting in the back of the class in graduate school at Princeton University in New Jersey in the late 1940’s. I noticed that many of them all smoked back then, even in class. John does not have a good personality, or many social skills and makes fun of his friends there because he thinks their work at proving theories are wrong, in the papers they submitted. His group of math friends at Princeton were very competitive with each other, but John took it too seriously and would get frustrated to compete more with himself, to get recognition. I thought John Nash showed odd behavior well before the delusions and schizophrenia started in the movie. He talked to himself, drew math problems on windows, was by himself mostly, he was cranky often, and he insulted people like everyone was stupid and he did not want to waste time talking to them. John also looked for algorithms in all of his life, even watching pigeons, and trying to date women out at a bar with his buddies. He had some real friends in the math community and a few imaginary friends and enemies in his mind.
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