Levinson is a “first-rate mathematician” at MIT who acts as a “sounding board and father substitute” to John Nash. Like William Ted Martin, Levinson’s Communist past is revealed during the McCarthy years; nonetheless, Levinson remains the “most respected member” of the math department, a “thoughtful, decisive,” and empathetic leader who becomes a “role model” for Nash. Levinson defends Nash after Nash begins to suffer psychotic episodes and exhibits erratic behavior that leads to his resignation from MIT; he later attempts to recruit Nash back to MIT.
Norman Levinson Character Timeline in A Beautiful Mind
The timeline below shows where the character Norman Levinson appears in A Beautiful Mind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 16 – MIT
...Nash begins to view Wiener as a “kindred spirit.” Nash also becomes close with Norman Levinson, a prominent MIT professor who, like Al Tucker at Princeton, plays the role of “sounding... (full context)
Chapter 19 – Reds
...institutions are beginning to feel “vulnerable”; Solomon Lefschetz is identified as a “communist sympathizer.” Norman Levinson is questioned, though he refuses to name other suspected communists. Though Nash is not involved... (full context)
Chapter 20 – Geometry
...were impossible to solve with existing methods. Though few believe Nash will solve the problem—even Levinson—Nash is like a “long-distance runner”: he perseveres where others give up and is a “hard... (full context)
Chapter 37 – Mad Hatter’s Tea
...has decided that he wants to obtain Swiss citizenship. Nash submits a resignation letter, which Levinson tries to refuse; ultimately, though, MIT is unable to force Nash to stay on. Nash... (full context)
Chapter 42 – The “Blowing Up” Problem