One of the biggest questions that have been plaguing netizens ever since the release of The Queen’s Gambit is that what is the green pills drug in the Queen’s Gambit. The Netflix series is based on author Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel of the same name. the Netflix series stars actor Anya Taylor-Joy and is helmed by Scott Frank and Allan Scott. Read on to find out about the green pills drug in The Queen’s Gambit.
Those who have already watched the series must be knowing that the show revolves around the American drug abuse problem, however, it doesn’t fully address the dark backstory. It looks like in order to create a more appealing storyline for the show, the creators have glossed over some parts of the dark history. A young chess prodigy is the protagonist of the story who struggles with personal vices as an adult. Set in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, the show begins at a Kentucky orphanage, where one day, a young girl named Beth Harmon wanders into a basement where she learns how to play chess from custodian Mr. Shaibel (Bill Camp).
The orphanage kids, however, are being fed with white and green “vitamins,” which are later revealed to be tranquilizer pills called Xanzolam. Young Beth pretends to swallow her pills in front of the adults, in her odyssey to become a great chess player, but actually saves them for recreational purposes. Beth lies in bed during nighttime and envisions a chessboard on the ceiling. While tripping out on the alleged vitamins, she goes back and forth strategizing new moves.
Beth is shown to be immediately benefitting from consuming several pills at one time in one of the early episodes of The Queen’s Gambit. This must have been noticed by fans that Beth is immediately able to focus her thoughts and receive a different strategic perspective once the tranquilizer pills work their magic. Beth, upon her adoption, realizes that her adoptive mother Alma Wheatley (Marielle Heller) has a prescription for Xanzolam.
Though, in reality, Beth Harmon never existed nor did the tranquilizer, Xanzolam. A report in BuzzFeed news has however revealed that in American orphanages, there was indeed a drug problem in the late 50s and early 60s. Reportedly, some American orphanages sedated young residents during the mid-50s. Drugs were used by many women during that time to cope with daily life.
Though, Xanzolam, the green pills drug in The Queen’s Gambit, is fictional but is a pretty accurate analogy to what was a common medical practice at that time. What is referred to as high-functioning, Beth is that. High functioning is basically a person who is addicted to a substance like hard drugs or alcohol but gives the outward appearance of a normal and even a successful life.
Walter Tevis, the author of the novel had drawn several experiences from his own life in building the world of Beth. In 1983, while in conversation with The New York Times, Tevis had described how writing about the substance use of Beth helped him address his own experiences with drug use. He said that when he was young, he was diagnosed as having a rheumatic heart and was given heavy drug doses in the hospital. That is where the drug dependency of Beth comes from in the novel. He said that writing about her was purgative. There was some pain since he did a lot of dreaming while writing that part of the story. But he did not allow himself to be indulgent, artistically.
In the mid-20th century, benzodiazepine addiction became hugely widespread even as scientists failed to identify their addictive properties until years after their debut.
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