Nov 26, 2020 in History

Mans Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

During the centuries, 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 lifes 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 terrible experience of 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.

The tragic story of Austrian neurologist and his friends is represented in Mans Search for Meaning and begins with Frankls 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 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 the hopeless situations. The death was always near, and its presence scared less than an opportunity to commit suicide. As well, such Frankls representation of his first days in a concentration camp showed traumatic and painful experience of a person who had survived the holocaust or became a victim of Nazi regime. Victor Frankls struggle and search of 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 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 a self-defense. The prisoner had to turn off his emotions to survive in Auschwitz. The author showed hard conditions of people who were fed by a little piece of bread and watery soup. Such poor nutrition leaded to disorders and 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 on 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). The returning to normal life was also not 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 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. Frankls 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 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 a logotherapy. It also led the doctor to his purpose of investigating fundamental human motive of the 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 inmates mental reactions during each phase and commented it using different quotations about the meaning of life.

The autobiographical story of Dr. Frankl represents the writers 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 to every man or woman on the Earth. Prisoners inner struggle can not help to find the sense of life, but it leads to frustration. 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 Frankls 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 the life. Frankls story helped me to find a 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.

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