A Man’s Search For Meaning Book Review


Mackenzie Dahl, Opinions

Just recently I read the book “Man’s Search For Meaning” Written by Viktor E. Frankl. The initial reason I chose to read this book was because of the similar interests the author and I both shared. Once I started to read the book, I realized that his experience was something incomprehensible from a perspective that has not lived it. The Author Viktor E. Frankl was a survivor of the Holocaust. When Viktor was 19 he studied medicine and the University Of Vienna medicine school, and he then went on to do many great things such as organizing youth counseling centers, and opening a private practice to study psychiatry.

Viktor E. Frankl had many negative experiences shape the way he viewed life. He also had much knowledge about the way the human brain reacts to certain situations. But I also feel that Frankl wants the reader to get an understanding that he was conscious of what he was being put through while having existential frustration.

The first 90 pages of the book Frankl discusses his experience as a Jew living in Austria during the second world war. He explains in detail the actions him and his peers took while arriving at the concentration camp. Frankl analyzed not only himself, but everyone else around him. He had noticed a cycle with 3 phases and explained the effects of each one. The reason I mention this is because Frankl was constantly alert and taught himself the cause and effects of simply being alive as a Jew. I believe it was important for Frankl to write a bibliography in the first half of “ A Mans’s Search For Meaning” in order to provide the reader a better understanding on his perspective on topics such as existentialism. 

The last half of “A mans search for meaning” Frankl talks about his passion, logotherapy. He was a very motivated psychiatrist prior to being taken captive in Auschwitz, and after his experience, he had felt even more influenced to persist in his studies, Frankl explains logotherapy as “in comparison to psychoanalysis, is a method less retrospective and less introspective.” He believes there are very simple, and broad ways to discover our meaning in life. This is a very good book to read if you are interested in psychology, and existentialism. 

Frankl, Viktor E. (Viktor Emil), 1905-1997 author. Man’s Search for Meaning : an Introduction to Logotherapy. Boston :Beacon Press, 1962.

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