Analysis of VE Frankl's 'Man's Search for Meaning'
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Viktor Frankl's views of the possibility of finding meaning in response to the Holocaust are intrinsically different from those provided by other authors of this horrific experience, which include Wiesel, Levinas, and Buber, for the simple fact that Frankl actually lived through the depravation of the concentration camps. Wiesel lived through those concentration camps as well, but Frankl spent a greater amount of time there and the effects of that experience upon his narrative, person and perspective are considerably colored by that fact. An inextricable aspect of Frankl's narrative regarding his experience in the Holocaust, Man's Search for Meaning is the fact that he and other prisoners who were able to survive had to deal with having all meaning, sense, and sensation of their lives inexorably drained from them. The author differs from Wiesel in the fact that he spends a good deal of time in this manuscript actually detailing the recovery process from this experience. These other authors do not provide as much detail regarding this process, which influences their perception of the meaning of this travesty.
During varying stages of Man's Search for Meaning, the terms freedom, responsibility, and suffering mean a variety of things to Frankl. Most alarming, of course, is the fact that towards the midway point and the conclusion of the author's harrowing tale of the death camps at Auschwitz is the fact that for the most part, these terms become synonymous with one another.