November 21, 2017
Finding Meaning in Life
Response and Analysis to Man’s Search for Meaning
The meaning of life has become a frequently pondered question by many people. There is a unique answer for every individual. Often, one’s experiences of the world can often reflect their perception of the meaning of life. With this concept one may be led on to believe the prisoners of the concentration camps may have a negative and discouraging outlook on life due to the cruelty of the environment. Viktor Frankl, a prisoner at the camps during World War II, had a different approach to coping with the question of meaning of life. While living in the concentration camps, he developed his own theory of logotherapy.
The German concentration camps were a place of severe suffering and misgivings, many people were killed and others tortured both mentally as well as physically. Only a handful of people were able to survive. Frankl describes three meanings that were the most crucial factors that contributed to the prisoner’s survival: love, work, and suffering (Frankl 103-112). The love of their loved ones and the hope of meeting them someday was one of the foremost reasons that gave them the will to live. Secondly, when prisoners immersed in work more and more their bodies started to become immune to the severity of the harsh conditions, and is why they were able to put their pain aside and continue surviving. The third and most interesting meaning is the suffering. One might wonder how this could be a source of meaning for the prisoners, but Frankl suggest suffering is more of a human attainment (102).
The main theme of Man's Search for Meaning is the determination in finding meaning no matter the circumstances. Frankl developed the theory of logotherapy, the purpose is finding the key...