Mental Illness

Essay by 021259High School, 12th gradeA, August 2005

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Mental Illness

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, mental illness is a very misunderstood illness. These people who have fallen victim to such an illness which is one in five often find life difficult to deal with. The movies clips you are about to see all have characters who are effected by mental illness. As we discuss these movies further there is an important issue which becomes evident. These movies directly reflect the societies perception of the mentally ill at the particular time the movie was made. Snake pit, Psycho, One flew over the cuckoo's nest, As good as it gets, Shine and A beautiful mind are the movies we will view. Just on those titles alone can anybody see a development emerging?(slide of the titles) the only problem with this development and the better understanding of mentally ill people in this movie is that they have gone from one extreme to another.

From killers, crazy and powerless people to famous, rich and powerful people. The problem with this is these only cover about 1% of mentally ill people. The rest of them sit in the middle somewhere.

Lets watch these early 50's and 60's movies and observe the portrayal of the mentally ill people. Also note the minor details like their surrounds, clothing, stigma and facial expression.(show slide/movie) the people in these movies were treated like animals. The sad fact of the matter is, that those methods of treatment were commonly used and society assumed that these methods were acceptable because there own knowledge on the subject was almost non-existent.

What sort of mental illness's do you think are evident? Do you think the audiences of the 50's and 60's would have felt the same disgust as we today feel?

The next movie we will be analysing is One flew...