A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind

by

Sylvia Nasar

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Themes and Colors
Mental Illness, Recovery, and the Quest for Knowledge Theme Icon
Genius, Morality, and Relationships Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in A Beautiful Mind, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Mental Illness, Recovery, and the Quest for Knowledge

A Beautiful Mind is the biography of acclaimed mathematician John Nash, who suffers from fits of delusion that severely hamper his career as a mathematician. Nash experiences a meteoric rise to fame and develops what biographer Sylvia Nasar calls “one of the most influential ideas of the twentieth century,” a crucial development in mathematical theory. Yet at the age of 30, he begins to experience severe schizophrenic episodes that derail his career. Nash is…

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Genius, Morality, and Relationships

Throughout Nasar’s biography, John Nash is portrayed as a wholly complicated figure. Though exceedingly intelligent in the world of academia, he lacks a sense of social awareness and is often cruel, commandeering, and downright uncaring to the people around him: his friends, family, and peers. In A Beautiful Mind, Nasar does not attempt to excuse or justify Nash’s behavior. Instead, she suggests that while Nash was able to get ahead as a mathematician…

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Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives

A major part of Nash’s story remains more or less hidden in accounts of his life outside of A Beautiful Mind (including the popular film adapted from the book). Nash was likely a closeted bisexual who had turbulent relationships with both men and women. He kept this side of his identity somewhat concealed, though his involvement in the mostly male academic world produced some complicated affairs with other men. However, he was unable to…

read analysis of Love, Desire, and the Impact of Hidden Lives
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