Reflection Paper Search for Man's Meaning

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Pages: 6

Reflection Paper:
A Critical Book Review of Man’s Search for Meaning

Heather Urmanski

Silver Lake College
History 205

Instructor Diane Weiland August 19, 2012

Introduction Man’s Search for Meaning, is a biography and the personal memoir of Victor Frankl’s experience in a Nazi Concentration Camp. The book was initially published in 1946 in German and was then published in 1959 in English, under the title From Death-Camp to Existentialism. Prior to World War II, Victor Frankl was a psychiatrist working in Vienna and then later was responsible for running the neurology department at a Jewish Hospital in Rothschild. In 1942 he and his family were arrested and deported. They were separated and sent to concentration
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Frankl also believes that regardless of what has been stripped from a man, both material and emotional properties, no one can take away the freedom to control his feelings. He feels that this is the last human right. The attitude one chooses to have in any situation will determine the path that is taken and the outcome. He correlates the way with how a man accepts his fate with finding a deeper meaning in life. He uses the example of a woman who will die in a few days; she accepts her fate and finds peace in what will happen- giving her more meaning and a purpose for the time she has left. If she had not accepted the inevitable she would have spent the last of her time on this earth feeling sorry for herself, not accomplishing anything. According to Frankl we can discover the meaning of life in three different ways. The first and easiest way to find the meaning in life is to create a work or do a deed. This is a simple way to give yourself purpose. Allowing yourself to experiencing goodness, beauty, truth or by loving another human being is the second way you can develop meaning in your life. The most challenging of the three ways to find meaning in life is the ability to control how we deal with suffering. If we cannot control the situation then we must control our attitude about the situation. If you have mastered this, then you have taken a tragedy and turned it into something positive- thus