The book Man’s Search For Meaning by Auschwitz survivor Viktor E. Frankl is a masterpiece of both philosophy and storytelling in a way that is more in-depth and intriguing than any other book I’ve ever read. The book goes in detail to what gives our lives meaning, and how the human mind can adapt to any situation in ways that are revolutionary. Spoken from a man with experience, the book dives right into what shapes the core of our human minds and what can ultimately bring us to survival in any trial.
To start the book off, Viktor recounts his time in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. He goes in-depth about the horrors he experienced, between the sight of injustice and sheer brutality to the ways he and other inmates would cope with the morbid, nightmarish life they were forced into. There are many experiences he speaks about, such as the frostbite he would get from working in the snow and ice, beatings he and others got from guards, bodies he had to bury or witness getting buried, and the fragility of the life he so dearly held onto during his time at Auschwitz. These opening chapters of the book give us background for the philosophical journey Viktor would later guide us on as readers. He mentioned how he would work every day off of a diet of watery soup and thin bread slices, and how he went through the day looking forward to nothing more than sleeping every night, although he and others suffered nightmares. Even though he would work diligently to cling onto such a horrible lifestyle, Viktor would also find a morbid sense of consolation from his experiences. For example, as he was surrounded by death so much during his time there, he would eventually find no more grief in seeing the deaths of dear friends. Tending to sick inmates who looked like little more than skeletons became a normal event for Viktor, and he was numb to the pains of forced labor. Viktor goes on to describe the philosophical insights he learned from Auschwitz that would later guide his life outside of the war. For example, he talks about work ethic and how the joy we find from life can be found in work. He goes in detail how even though he was constantly strained mentally and physically, he started to find an inner peace through the chaos and horror he went through. He went on to say that the joy we find in life isn’t always when we relax, but when we are struggling and find solace in it instead of victimizing ourselves. As individuals, I believe we need to look to this as inspiration through our hardships.
In conclusion, the book Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is a stunning piece of literature that embodies the attitude we all need in our lives. The recounting of horrible events in the author’s life gives us as readers a new insight on what we should strive to apply in our perspectives of our lives, from the hardships faced in Auschwitz to the trials we go through as humans. The book is a testament to human perseverance, and gives us all an attitude for any situation.