A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind

by

Sylvia Nasar

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Alicia Larde (Alicia Nash) Character Analysis

Alicia is John Nash’s wife and the mother of his son, John Charles Martin Nash. Alicia and Nash meet at MIT, where he is employed as an instructor. Alicia, an undergraduate student studying physics, takes one of Nash’s math courses and develops a crush on her professor. Nasar describes Alicia as a “bright, vivacious, playful, and talkative” young woman, from an “aristocratic” family from San Salvador, who is drawn to Nash’s intelligence, upper-class background, and good looks. Alicia and Nash eventually marry, and Alicia becomes pregnant. However, Nash is hospitalized for schizophrenia shortly before Alicia is due to give birth, throwing their lives into disarray. Though Alicia is supportive of Nash for years—traveling with him to Europe after his paranoid delusions force him to leave MIT, supporting him through rounds of hospitalizations, and enduring his erratic, often aggressive behavior—she eventually obtains a divorce from her husband, exhausted by the strains his mental illness has put on their marriage. Later, though, as Nash begins to recover, Alicia invites him to live with her as a “boarder” in her house in Princeton. Alicia’s actions help Nash to regain his grasp on reality and return to Princeton’s academic community. Loyal yet firm, Alicia plays the most important role in Nash’s remission from schizophrenia, demonstrating the power of love, patience, and forgiveness.

Alicia Larde (Alicia Nash) Quotes in A Beautiful Mind

The A Beautiful Mind quotes below are all either spoken by Alicia Larde (Alicia Nash) or refer to Alicia Larde (Alicia Nash) . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Mental Illness, Recovery, and the Quest for Knowledge Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of A Beautiful Mind published in 1998.
Prologue Quotes

Underneath the brilliant surface of [Nash’s] life, all was chaos and contradiction: his involvements with other men; a secret mistress and a neglected illegitimate son; a deep ambivalence toward the wife who adored him, the university that nurtured him, even his country; and, increasingly, a haunting fear of failure. And the chaos eventually welled up, spilled over, and swept away the fragile edifice of his carefully constructed life.

Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

Despite Alicia Larde’s crush [on Nash], which seemed to have erased the earnest student of science, she was playing a serious game. Her romantic dreams of becoming a famous scientist herself hadn’t survived the harsh reality test provided by MIT. As she put it later, “I was no Einstein.” Pragmatically, she recognized that marriage to an illustrious man might also satisfy her ambitions. Nash seemed to fit the bill.

Page Number: 197-198
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 50 Quotes

It is a life resumed, but time did not stand still while Nash was dreaming. Like Rip Van Winkle, Odysseus, and countless fictional space travelers, he wakes to find that the world he left behind has moved on in his absence. The brilliant young men that were are retiring or dying. The children are middle-aged. The slender beauty, his wife, is now a mature woman in her sixties. And there is his own seventieth birthday fast approaching. […] The Nobel cannot restore what has been lost.

Page Number: 381
Explanation and Analysis:

The truth, however, is that the research has not been the main thing in [Nash’s] present life. The important theme has been reconnecting to family, friends, and community. This has become the urgent undertaking. The old fear that he depended on others and that they depended on him has faded. The wish to reconcile, to care for those who need him, is uppermost.

Page Number: 383
Explanation and Analysis:
Epilogue Quotes

The festive scene at the turn-of-the-century frame house opposite the train station might have been that of a golden wedding anniversary: the handsome older couple posing for pictures with family and friends, the basket of pale yellow roses, the 1950s photo of the bride and groom on display for the occasion.

In fact, John and Alicia Nash were about to say “I do” for the second time, after a nearly forty-year gap in their marriage. For them it was yet another step—“a big step,” according to John—in piecing together lives cruelly shattered by schizophrenia.

Page Number: 389
Explanation and Analysis:
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Alicia Larde (Alicia Nash) Character Timeline in A Beautiful Mind

The timeline below shows where the character Alicia Larde (Alicia Nash) appears in A Beautiful Mind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Foreword
Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
...of bits and pieces” from interviews, letters, and documents, into a biographical narrative. Nasar credits Alicia Nash, John Nash’s wife, with allowing her to tell Nash’s story, since Alicia thought “it... (full context)
Chapter 21 – Singularity
Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
...men, abandon a “secret mistress” who would have his child, and eventually marry his wife, Alicia Nash. As Nash begins to form complicated, intimate connections, his life begins to resemble a... (full context)
Chapter 26 – Alicia
Genius, Morality, and Relationships Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
...woman who had been his student is now working behind the desk: this is 21-year-old Alicia Larde, a “delicate and feminine” young woman. Alicia’s family—bourgeois, upper-class, and well-educated—was from San Salvador,... (full context)
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Alicia dreams of becoming a “modern-day Marie Curie.” In her senior year of high school, she... (full context)
Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
During her sophomore year, Alicia takes a course taught by John Nash, whose good looks and reputation as a genius... (full context)
Chapter 27 – The Courtship
Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
Nash is attracted to Alicia because of her “aristocratic lineage,” “social ease,” and her own good looks; he also finds... (full context)
Genius, Morality, and Relationships Theme Icon
Alicia does not manage to graduate from MIT with the rest of her class in summer... (full context)
Genius, Morality, and Relationships Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
In February 1956, Alicia and Nash are in bed together at his apartment when Eleanor walks in unannounced: seeing... (full context)
Chapter 31 – The Bomb Factory
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Back at MIT in the fall of 1957, Nash and Alicia find an apartment in Cambridge, and Alicia gets a job nearby as a physics researcher.... (full context)
Chapter 33 – Schemes
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In 1958, Alicia discovers that she is pregnant. Though Alicia is dismayed—she had hoped to keep working for... (full context)
Chapter 34 – The Emperor of Antarctica
Mental Illness, Recovery, and the Quest for Knowledge Theme Icon
...Year’s Eve party at Nash’s colleague Jurgen Moser’s house on December 31, 1958, Nash and Alicia enter the house, causing a stir among the guests: Nash is “entirely naked” except for... (full context)
Chapter 35 – In the Eye of the Storm
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Alicia is beginning to feel isolated in Boston and worried about Nash’s mental state: Nash is... (full context)
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Alicia decides to quit her job and take another job closer to the MIT campus in... (full context)
Chapter 36 – Day Breaks in Bowditch Hall
Mental Illness, Recovery, and the Quest for Knowledge Theme Icon
Genius, Morality, and Relationships Theme Icon
...from the hospital. Though his residents continue to argue that Nash is not yet recovered, Alicia decides that Nash can come home. One week after the birth of their son, on... (full context)
Chapter 37 – Mad Hatter’s Tea
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Emma Duchane, a friend of Alicia’s, helps Alicia to find an apartment after Nash is committed. Remarkably, Alicia seems calm and... (full context)
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Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
Nash gets permission from McLean to leave for the evening to visit Alicia the day after the birth: there, he uses a napkin to cover up the “In”... (full context)
Mental Illness, Recovery, and the Quest for Knowledge Theme Icon
...a year in Paris at a leading center of mathematics, the College de France, and Alicia agrees to accompany him, leaving their son behind with her mother. (full context)
Chapter 38 – Citoyen du Monde
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Nash and Alicia leave from New York on a ship, the Queen Mary, which reaches Paris on July... (full context)
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Nash and Alicia arrive in Geneva on an overnight train from Paris in 1959. Alicia leaves almost immediately... (full context)
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In Italy, Alicia enjoys a holiday with her friend and begins to recapture some of her “old lighthearted,... (full context)
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Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
...in December under a deportation order, but he refuses to return to the United States. Alicia arrives in Geneva to take Nash back to Paris, after which they will return to... (full context)
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Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
...Back in Paris, Nash continues to write and send nonsensical letters to his former colleagues. Alicia and Nash are quickly running out of money: eventually, Virginia Nash wires funds to Paris... (full context)
Chapter 39 – Absolute Zero
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Nash returns to Princeton, and Alicia finds a job near Princeton and rents an apartment for her, Nash, and John Charles... (full context)
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...claiming that he is a citizen of Liechtenstein and cannot be taxed. A psychiatrist advises Alicia to have Nash committed again. (full context)
Chapter 41 – An Interlude of Enforced Rationality
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Nash and Alicia are now living together in Princeton again, sharing a home with Alicia’s parents. Nash attempts... (full context)
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...that he isn’t ill and therefore doesn’t need hospitalization. As a result, Martha, Virginia, and Alicia decided that Nash would again have to be committed to a hospital in New Jersey. (full context)
Chapter 42 – The “Blowing Up” Problem
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...Jersey. Carrier is known to use aggressive treatments like “chemical straitjackets” and electroshock therapy; though Alicia is worried about committing Nash to this third hospital, she knows that failing to intervene... (full context)
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...MIT or the University of California, Berkeley; he also hopes to resume his marriage with Alicia, though this seems unlikely. (full context)
Chapter 43 – Solitude
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Nash misses Alicia, who discourages him from visiting Princeton, though he finds a “friendly” community at Brandeis. Nash... (full context)
Chapter 46 – A Quiet Life
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In 1970, Alicia offers to let Nash live with her, realizing that no one else will take him... (full context)
Mental Illness, Recovery, and the Quest for Knowledge Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
...them there as a “boarder,” contributing some income, from his mother’s will, as rent.  Eventually, Alicia manages to get a job at Con Edison in New York City, and she enrolls... (full context)
Chapter 50 – Reawakening
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Alicia and Nash still live in the same house in Princeton Junction and see friends regularly.... (full context)
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...prevented him from having angry, occasionally violent outbursts. Taking care of Johnny “draws Nash and Alicia together and tears them apart,” sometimes causing rifts but also forcing them to collaborate and... (full context)
Genius, Morality, and Relationships Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
...therapy for schizophrenia might be invented, and he experiences moments of joy with Johnny and Alicia. Alicia is still fond of taking care of Nash, and Nash defers to her wishes;... (full context)
Epilogue
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Genius, Morality, and Relationships Theme Icon
In 2001, John and Alicia Nash decide to marry after a nearly 40-year gap in their marriage. Nash is 73,... (full context)