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Psychiatry: “A Beautiful Mind” and “Black Swan” Films Essay

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Updated: Jan 22nd, 2021

The introduction: the fundamentals of the films

So, the subjects I want to introduce you to are considered to be famous psychological films. I would like to discuss such productions as A Beautiful Mind and Black Swan. The most noticeable feature, which combines two films, is that both characters suffer from psychological disorders.

First of all, I would like to share some fundamentals of films. My first choice is an American drama film based on a true story. The plot discloses the hard life of a Nobel Laureate in Economics John Nash. The main character suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. My second choice is the film, Black Swan. The main character Nina Sayers suffers from a double personality.

Generally, it seems that, on the one hand, the productions have nothing in common. However, it is only the first impression.

The thesis statement

The issues, which are to be analyzed, are considered to be of the same nature. However, the consequences of psychological disorders depend upon the choices people make. Both films reflect the different origins of a similar problem. A person’s inward nature is to be discussed.

The body: a comparative and contrastive analysis

I have already pointed out that both characters in the films suffer from psychological diseases. However, I would like to clarify that the reasons that caused the disorders are not the same. To understand better what I am talking about, let’s draw a parallel between two different personalities. The first character John Nash from A Beautiful Mind, suffers from a mental disorder, which is called schizophrenia. He experiences the most widespread symptoms of the disease, including hallucinations, emotional difficulties, and hearing voices. He is a prodigy. The second character from the film Black Swan is Nina Sayers, who is to perform two roles in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

She is to dance the part of Black Swan as well as the part of Swan Queen. The roles the main character is to perform are different. Black Swan symbolizes cruelty and evil, while Swan Queen represents innocence. In real life, Nina Sayers is supposed to serve only good things. However, to receive the role of a prima ballerina, she starts to fight with her inward nature. Finally, such non-acceptance of her inner core leads to horrible consequences. Nina starts to experience obsessive-compulsive disorder and visual hallucinations. She begins to destruct her character and mind.

So, taking into account the above-mentioned details, one can make a conclusion that the principal difference between the psychological states of the two characters is that the origin or nature of the diseases is different. In our case, it can be divided into genetic and the environment. Thus, John Nash’s case is recognized to be hereditary, while Nina Sayers’s situation totally depends upon environmental conditions.

For instance, the supposition can be proved by the fact that environmental conditions, which cause schizophrenia, are related to drug use, poor housing conditions, racial discrimination, etc. However, I have to notice that the main character didn’t experience the above-mentioned events. For this reason, environmental effects are to be excluded. The genetic nature of John Nash’s disease can be confirmed by the fact that his son also suffers from schizophrenia (in real life).

In my opinion, Nina Sayers’s situation is obvious. The girl’s desire to become the first became fatal for her. When a person tries to do his or her best to achieve good results, the consequences can be pleasant; however, an abnormal desire to win can lead to the most terrible results. For the second character, the proverb that the end justifies the means is considered to be a motto of life. By the way, this observation gives me an opportunity to state that still both characters were too proud. Thus, according to the first film, John Nash suffered superiority complex or macromania, while Nina Sayers was too selfish. For her, the loss meant purposelessness and was the sign of a misfit.

The conclusion: the importance of the choice

Generally, both films are considered to be rather significant. The first film, A Beautiful Mind, shows us that genetic causes of some diseases are difficult to avoid; however, a healthy person’s will and desire to fight against unpleasant conditions can help to overcome any difficulties. On the other hand, the second film proves that a human being is an imperfect creature, unfortunately. In other words, the personality includes numerous subpersonalities, and it depends upon a person what character (good or bad) will finally win.

It seems that the case with John Nash is to be more difficult, as it is tough to fight with a human being’s inherent nature. However, Black Swan showed that sometimes there are external factors, which are difficult to overcome.

To my mind, both cases depicted in the films show that the process of recovery depends upon the person’s desire to fight with conditions he or she lives in. On a large scale, it doesn’t matter genetic or environmental causes lead to negative consequences. It is a person’s choice, which determines the success of his or her fight.

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IvyPanda. "Psychiatry: "A Beautiful Mind" and "Black Swan" Films." January 22, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/psychiatry-a-beautiful-mind-and-black-swan-films/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Psychiatry: "A Beautiful Mind" and "Black Swan" Films." January 22, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/psychiatry-a-beautiful-mind-and-black-swan-films/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Psychiatry: "A Beautiful Mind" and "Black Swan" Films'. 22 January.

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