Mary and Max is a tale of a pen-friendship between 2 very different people that spans 20 years.

Through the Adam Elliot deals with kleptomania, agoraphobia, alcoholism, sexual differences, obesity and autism. He introduces us to people who are marginalised and different. One of who is, proud ‘Aspie’, Max Jerry Horowitz.

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Asperger Syndrome

By Monica film, Gunturu

Something ODD about Max
Through his letters to Mary we get an insight into an Asperger mind:

Friendship: the best treatment

I find the world very CONFUSING and CHAOTIC because my mind is very literal and logical I have trouble understanding the expressions on people’s faces I have trouble expressing emotions I DO NOT feel DISABLED
Asperger’s became a familiar term in the medical community in 1981 and was not recognised as a developmental disorder until 1994. People like Max were just thought of as odd. The nonverbal signs and subtle hints that lace our conversations are almost impossible for an ‘Aspie’ to decipher. If our society was more straight forward with the way we speak, rather than expecting people to ‘get the hint’, Max would fit in perfectly. Alas, that is not the case.

Without any meaningful interaction with other people, Max was stuck in a lonely depressed routine of chocolate hotdogs and overeaters anonymous meetings. When 8 year old Mary starts writing to Max J Horowitz of New York, she begins a friendship that they both desperately need. Through the medium of letters, where perplexing facial expressions are absent, Max is able to converse and form an earnest bond with Mary. This relationship meant that Max’s life was no longer redundant. He had a significant impact on someone else’s life. He finally had someone who understood him and liked him for who he was. When after 18 years thesis onMax, Dear Asperger’s, Mary writes a

Their relationship is mended, however, after certain truths are realised. Mary realises that she doesn’t need to smooth the wrinkle of this world to make it perfect.

Max realises that not everybody

is perfect and people make mistakes, and comes to understand a tiny part of this confusing world. Elliot shows us that in order to make this a happier place for the different, rather than trying to cure or make them fit into the current society, the best thing to do is show some understanding and everything “Not EMPATHY. that steps out of line, and

……………. . . the book about your disability, in the hopes to one day cure it. . .
It shatters his view of Mary and their relationship. She saw him just as the rest of the world did. DISABLED.

thus ‘abnormal’, must necessarily be ‘inferior’.” References - Hans Asperger (1938)
Information sourced from:
Mary and Max, 2009. [film]Directed by Adam Elliot. Australia: Melodrama pictures Giles, J. (2009). Mary and Max review. Available: Last accessed 18 November 2009. Autism Victoria. (2001). Asperger syndrome. Available:'s_syndrome? OpenDocument. Last accessed 18 November 2009. Attwood, T (2007). The complete guide to Asperger's syndrome. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Max is confused by the world and vice
versa, leading to ISOLATION.

…”I do not feel the need to be cured. I
like being an Aspie. It would be like trying to change the colour of my eyes.”

Pictures Sourced from:
Mary and Max, 2009. [film]Directed by Adam Elliot. Australia: Melodrama pictures. Official site for the film:

Marjorie Buttersworth…confuses me. She kisses me without my permission