Review of Man'S Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
In Viktor Frankl ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’, he talks about suffering, he describes psychological methods, he often wonders why people who suffer from a multitude of torments did not commit suicide already, and how could they find life worth living. Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist, and neurologist who was a long-time prisoner as he experiences real daily torture talks about his own experience being in a concentration camp, it stripped him bare naked and just left him his existence, he was treated like an animal, he saw his body beginning to devour itself. He witnessed seeing his family being perished in these brutal camps and people being tortured and thrown into gas chambers. People were fed with barely any bread and water-downed soup, lack of nourishment led to become weak and ill, but they still were forced into intensive labor.
After his experienced in these camps it led him to discover why finding meaning to life was necessary, find a purpose in life where you feel that is it beneficial. If he didn’t find meaning or any hope, he wouldn’t have endured the suffering ‘to live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering.’ (Frankl page 3)
Viktor Frankl encourages people to find meaning in living. Whether it would be in our loved ones or the thought of surviving. People were strong enough to put the pain aside and fight through the suffering, though the thought of suicide came in everyone’s mind, Frankl made himself a promise ‘I made myself a firm promise, on my first evening in camp, that I would not ‘run into the wire.’ This was a phrase used in camp to describe the most popular method of suicide touching the electrically charged barbed-wire fence’ (Frankl page 13).
That is an important aspect to keep in mind as he kept a strong promise not commit any suicide in any way because even though he was being tormented he still did not choose to die; it was a psychological way of thinking ‘some men lost all hope, but it was the incorrigible optimists who were the most irritating companions’ (Frankl page 20). Frankl observed people using psychology as he was in the camps, as he mentions ‘in spite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of life in a concentration camp, it was possible for spiritual life to deepen.
Sensitive people who were used to a rich intellectual life may have suffered much pain, but the damage to their inner selves was less’ (Frankl page 21) he speaks that. So, the prisoners who were less harsh often seemed to survive camp life better than did those of a robust nature, and the ones who suffered gave suffering a physical meaning.
Importance to Me
Personally, I really enjoyed this book because it was just fascinating yet gloom how people were put through such a horrible place and endured an amount of pain, but people like Viktor Frankl use a method of psychology, and it helped him through it all instead of ending his life, when he envisioned a life for him, he had meanings of his own to keep him moving forward such as his wife ‘I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise’ and ‘My mind still clung to the image of my wife’ (Frankl page 22).
It doesn’t matter if it’s real or fake if it helps you get through then it helps. He had to keep his hopes up even when he is facing the worst situations possible. He fought through the hardship of being at a place that was hell on earth but still had light at the end of his tunnel which made him want to keep moving forward.
Frankl who was suffering chose to embrace it and to become a better person out of it. That shows me that it is possible to get out of a situation, you just need to have hope and meaning in life where you want to choose your path. The people who were not capable of living didn’t envision something for them, possibly didn’t have a family to help guide them or no meaning in life on why they wanted to live.
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