A Beautiful Mind

Has anyone analyzed A Beautiful MInd? I watched it thinking I for sure had seen it in the Dramatica Analysis, but I was wrong about that? Any thoughts on the Throughline domains?


My first thought is that it’s a “bottom right” story (i.e. present, contemplations, conceiving an idea, learning).

The MC concern is probably mind / conscious. Acceptance is likely the change/good MC’s solution since he accepts the hallucinations as such & accepts the need for treatment, and this resolves his angst.

The downplayed OS is probably centered around the math work: learning? I think it’s also success due to the solution of acceptance (the pens at the college club; the Nobel prize as acceptance by his peers).

For the OS, I first considered the literal “conceiving an idea” (i.e. a new idea everyone at college is talking about), but I think that is more akin to the subject matter. I doubt the OS is in manipulation because the math work seems very straightforward as opposed to mind games.

The IC concern of present might be his wife’s difficulty with living in the present with this guy. That’s not great, but it’s my hunch. And maybe an RS concern of conceiving is her trying get him to grasp that he sees hallucinations, needs the meds, etc. Meanwhile, he’s trying to get her to grasp that they are after him, etc.


Thank you! This really helps. Realizing the OS was downplayed helped me to see it’s own through line. I was really confusing it with the MC through line.

I hadn’t seen it in a while and have been considering rewatching since i saw that it was on Prime, and this post has inspired me to go ahead and do so. I watched the first half and will try to finish tonight or this weekend.
My question so far is why wouldn’t the OS be that John has hallucinations?

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Just finished it. I don’t know what the storyform is at all yet, but I don’t get a sense of Acceptance as a solution. What do you think about Deduction? “Marcee cant be real, she never gets any older”. And then his problem of Induction would be something about finding patterns and deciding they’re messages about the Russians attacking.


I am re watching it too and with your comments in mind. I will touch back here after I’ve watched in again more thoughtfully. Thanks for keeping the conversation going!!


Just finished watching again. I saw mc in psychology. The signposts as conceiving (an original idea), being (a secret government agent), becoming (commited into a hospital for schizophrenia), then conceptualizing (a way to live outside of hospital). ???

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I can see that. What do you think the OS would be? And who was the IC?

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I have been stuck on this because my choices with MC in psychology are either universe or mind. And I keep feeling the OS is about living in a dog eat dog world of compettion. The challenge in the beginning to beat out the Russians and the who among you will be the one I think introduces the OS problem? It comes up again with the board game Nash loses, and the scene with the blonde and her 4 friends. So I guess I see the OS in situation??? Maybe the concern being how things are progressing… …who is gaining the advantage, “winning” the competition. I think the main IC then would be Martin Hansen in Activity. Though the heart of the story is with his wife Alicia, so the Relationship story should be about Nash and Alicia, so now I am stuck. What are your ideas for domains?

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John is the only one who suffers schizophrenia, but is he the only one who suffers conflict because of it?

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Alicia experiences conflict from being married to John. She wonders why she doesn’t leave him, she screams and cries and breaks the mirror in the middle of the night, has to rescue the baby. Why do these things happen?

The doctor has trouble treating John and has to call in Alicia for help. Why does the Dr have this problem?

The friend that visits John around the third Signpost or so feels uncomfortable being around John. Why?

Good questions!! I am seeing now that Johns state of mind with schizophrenia is the source of conflict for everyone in the story. So fixed state of mind could be the OS. And so I read too much into the opening scene to arrive at an external situation being the conflict . Am I close?

It’s not Johns fixed belief that creates conflict, tho right? It’s not that he believes the ppl he sees are real that creates conflict, but that he can’t come up with an original idea, that he falls into these delusions of dealing with Russians, that he plays along, that he’s crazy. More of a process isn’t it?

To put another way, it’s not that he has a delusion, but that he behaves delusionally, doesn’t he?

How John behaves is the source of conflict for everyone. His behaviors are why Alicia breaks a glass, wonders why she stays married, has to save the baby and why his friend feels awkward visiting him. OS in activity and change the MC domain from psychology.??? or these are all influence character handoffs so IC in activity and keep MC domain in psychology with Conceiving an Idea Johns personal source of conflict. I really struggle with dramatics and appreciate your prompts. I want to get better

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Breaking glass is an activity. But it’s not the source of conflict. Being schizophrenic is. That’s internal, isn’t it?

Yes. I agreed earlier that I could see MC in Psych, but what I’m saying now is I would change that.

I was thinking more like his activities are what create the poor marriage, awkwardness for his visiting friend etc. Even when the schizophrenia is controlled with medication his activities are the source of grief .

But isn’t Johns way of thinking what all of those activities are rooted in?
Isn’t his friend uncomfortable because he knows John is crazy and not because of some activity John is doing?

OS psychology then , and I reconsider my signposts.

Not necessarily. The sign posts look pretty good to me.

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