A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind

by

Sylvia Nasar

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John David Stier is the son of Eleanor Stier and John Nash, born in 1953. John David has a troubled childhood, since Nash—who was unmarried to his mother and was not listed as his father on his birth certificate—is frequently absent from his life, and Eleanor struggles to find employment. John David is shuttled between foster homes, some abusive, before returning to live with Eleanor as a teenager. He later becomes a registered nurse, much to the disappointment of his father, who hoped that he would become a scientist. Nash and John David reunite later in Nash’s life, during Nash’s remission from schizophrenia. Throughout A Beautiful Mind, John David often expresses his resentment of Nash, who was a distant and uncaring father during his childhood, though he also acknowledges that their relationship improved after Nash’s recovery.

John David Stier Quotes in A Beautiful Mind

The A Beautiful Mind quotes below are all either spoken by John David Stier or refer to John David Stier. 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 23 Quotes

Nash displayed a rather curious inconsistency in his attitude and behavior toward his son. At the time of his birth, he had reacted in neither of the ways one might have expected of a young man confronted with the pregnancy of a woman with whom he has recently begun sleeping, eschewing both the high road that would have led to a shotgun wedding, as well as the more commonly elected low road of flat-out denying his paternity and simply vanishing from his girlfriend’s life. He doubtless behaved selfishly, even callously […] But…it is natural to conclude that Nash, like the rest of us, needed to love and be loved, and that a tiny, helpless infant, his son, drew him irresistibly.

Page Number: 179
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:
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A Beautiful Mind PDF

John David Stier Character Timeline in A Beautiful Mind

The timeline below shows where the character John David Stier appears in A Beautiful Mind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 23 - Eleanor
Genius, Morality, and Relationships Theme Icon
...“no male visitors” rule—she loses the job and is eventually forced to place their child, John David Stier , in foster care. (full context)
Genius, Morality, and Relationships Theme Icon
Eventually, Nash suggests to Eleanor that she put John David up for adoption, and their relationship falls apart shortly thereafter: Eleanor realizes that Nash does... (full context)
Chapter 25 – The Arrest
Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
...fired, though he immediately denies being a homosexual—even pulling out an image of Eleanor and John David to show to the security officers who come to remove him from his office at... (full context)
Chapter 41 – An Interlude of Enforced Rationality
Mental Illness, Recovery, and the Quest for Knowledge Theme Icon
...parents. Nash attempts to care for his son and makes some visits to Eleanor and John Stier . At last, Nash is able to work again, and he finishes a paper on... (full context)
Chapter 43 – Solitude
Genius, Morality, and Relationships Theme Icon
...that he has forfeited his former status in the mathematical community. Nash visits Eleanor and John David every week, and though these visits are mostly pleasant, old tensions between Eleanor and Nash... (full context)
Chapter 46 – A Quiet Life
Genius, Morality, and Relationships Theme Icon
In 1977, John David Stier comes to visit Nash in Princeton; the following year, Johnny goes to Boston to visit... (full context)
Chapter 50 – Reawakening
Genius, Morality, and Relationships Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
In 1994, Nash boards a shuttle for Boston to reunite with his older son, John Stier , who lives in Boston with his mother and works as a registered nurse. This... (full context)