Mans Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
During the centuries, the question of the meaning of life disturbs each person. The spiritual search of a man reflects his level of meaningfulness in relation to life. Viktor Frankl in his autobiographical book Mans Search for Meaning raised the question of the meaning of human existence that could appear in the time of despair and anxiety. An Austrian psychiatrist discussed various particular occasions and his feeling while he had been a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. Frankl displayed his professional knowledge to emphasize the importance of discovering personal life sense. The writer clearly described all the horrors of his ordeal. Mans Search for Meaning was published in 1959 and since that time it has told the audience about the terrible experience of an Austrian medic who survived to present his story to the whole world. Nowadays, the book became a kind of frightful journey through survival in a concentration camp to find the meaning of life.
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The tragic story of an Austrian neurologist and his friends is represented in Mans Search for Meaning and begins with Frankl's explanation of the reason for writing this book. Therefore, the writer described his feelings during the entrance into Auschwitz. Frankl and his friends had a little hope for rescue that was broken into small pieces. The author of the story stated that men and women stayed in two lines without their belongings and waited for solving their destiny. Somebody was sent to the crematories, others to a cleansing station. That day the writer did not die and was bathed, stripped, and shaved. The prisoners of Auschwitz death camp were followed by thoughts of suicide that appeared in hopeless situations. The death was always near, and its presence scared less than an opportunity to commit suicide. As well, Frankl's representation of his first days in a concentration camp showed the traumatic and painful experience of a person who had survived the holocaust or became a victim of the Nazi regime. Victor Frankl's struggle and search for himself and his meaning of life helped him to endure all terrors of Auschwitz.
Therefore, Frankl continued to show the strength of prisoners who developed immunity before the death and beating. A man who got to the concentration camp became numb with the horror of watching the suffering of others prisoners. Victor Frankl described his experience of medical care of typhoid patients and his indifference to their horrible deaths created apathy that was some kind of self-defense. The prisoner had to turn off his emotions to survive in Auschwitz. The author showed the hard conditions of people who were fed by a little piece of bread and watery soup. Such poor nutrition led to disorders and the weakening of the body that made prisoners' life in the camp harder day by day. Everything that Frankl and his friends had was the sense of humor that kept them alive. After all, the writer represented a prisoner and his reaction to common things after rescue. The apathy followed former prisoners for a whole life. Frankl (2000) stated that We came to meadows full of flowers. We saw and realized what they were, but had no feelings about them (p. 109). Returning to normal life was also not an easy experience, and Frankl had to learn how to return previous ability to feel.
Frankl in Mans Search for Meaning emphasized the importance of love and hope to see again loved people who helped him to stay alive in the death camp. The writer focused on prisoners' psychological reactions to the sufferings that they had experienced at a concentration camp. Frankly, examples proved that a man would fight for his life and survive as long as he held on to his faith that everything in life had its reason. Being in such a condition of confidence that everything happens for a reason, a person can overcome any obstacle. In the book, the experience of Dr. Frankl in the concentration camp helped him to discover logotherapy. It also led the doctor to his purpose of investigating the fundamental human motive of life. As well, an Austrian psychiatrist according to his observation excreted three phases of mental reactions that had prisoners in the camp. Frankl and his friends experienced a period of entrance into a death camp, living in its conditions, and period of their release. The writer illustrated his inmate's mental reactions during each phase and commented on it using different quotations about the meaning of life.
The autobiographical story of Dr. Frankl represents the writer's hardships of the tough life at Auschwitz. Thus, doctors' strength against the pain and despair helped him to survive. The experience that the writer had got in the death camp forced him to see the strength of the human spirit. The meaning of life can be different for every man or woman on Earth. Prisoners' inner struggle can not help to find a sense of life, but it leads to frustration. The human meaning of life is very personal, and it cannot be combined with the goals of society. People always have a strong desire to find the meaning of his existence and Frankl's book can help them with their aim. Mans Search for Meaning shows the reader a world of a Nazi prisoner who survived because of his huge desire to live that helped him to find his own sense of life. To my mind, this book can teach everyone to struggle and value life. Frankl's story helped me to find the meaning of my existence, and it also changed my attitude to everyday chores that I had not noticed. I thank God every day for my opportunity to live and try to make myself better.