The Personal Optimism of Viktor Frankl Essay examples

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The power of mankind is only as strong as his internal being. While held captive within the confines of one of history’s most brutal constraints, Viktor Frankl reached within himself to transcend the hellish reality he could not escape. His module for existence can be summed up by Nietzsche's epitomic phrase “He who has a ‘why’ to live for can bear almost any ‘how’.” In the beginning of the book, he emphasizes that his purpose in writing the book is not at all to prove factual events, since there are already many available, but to apply meaning to the experiences he was forced to cope with. In the book, he states that the fate of a person is the result of inner decisions and is not the result of outside influences alone. In other words,…show more content…
The first example of Frankl’s conclusion refers to those who committed suicide in camp. It is evident that they allowed the physical struggle of living in the death camps overcome them and therefore eliminated any sense of hope in their destiny. If Frankl were to talk to them with the insight he instilled in his text, he would most likely do what he could to keep them alive by bestowing them with the knowledge of inner refuge. If only they were able to overlook the physical struggle and live by Dostoevski’s notion that man could get used to anything.
On the other hand, a select few proud individuals waltzed through the camps and proudly gave out what little sustenance and comfort they could. This is a prime example that perception directly influences well being. It is also a strong example that of all a man can be stripped of, he cannot be left devoid of personal choice. Even at his most pathetic state, mankind still bestows the power over his internal reality. Essentially, he is the master of his own universe.
Viktor Frankl’s belief in man’s power over himself led him to develop Logotherapy, which is the concept of seeking logic and meaning rather than power and pleasure. This model proposed that the fate of a person is a result of inner decisions instead of external forces. This applied to the lives of those who suffered under the reign of the Nazis inside the concentration camps. Frankl expounded a sense of personal optimism that was not
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