Book Review Man's Search For Meaning | Hamro Patro

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Book Review: Man’s Search For Meaning

   Shubham Rimal - Mar 10 2023

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
-Viktor E. Frankl

Written by Austrian Psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl, who is also a holocaust survivor, this book is simple but serious and thought-provoking. Frankl is the creator of the existential treatment known as Logotherapy. His writings and presentations, which have received several honors, are the most motivational on discovering significance in both pain and life. The book stands out in particular because Frankl uses his own experiences at the Auschwitz concentration camp to illustrate the astounding idea of how we may choose to see a meaning or importance in any situation, even under the most dire conditions. By vividly illuminating his personal experiences and observations of subtle human changes, he inspires the reader.

Starting off, the Jewish people are slowly being taken to Auschwitz. No one knew their fate, the name “Auschwitz” was a word dreaded by Jews, everyone knew what happened there, no one wanted to go there but were forced to. Kapos or Capos, as described by Frankl, were living life to the fullest, maybe even better than before Nazi takeover, all the while the rest of the jewish prisoners were beaten for even the slightest mistakes or inconveniences on the daily. The prisoners were holding each other up now that they were on the same boat.

“The salvation of man is through love and in love.”, says Frankl further adding that he realized that even a man with nothing left in this world may experience happiness, if only for a moment, when thinking about his lover.

Here, Frankl provides his initial reflections on these encounters gradually. Even if he has softened the language of cruelty, the notion that it was unquestionably the greatest pain one could conceive is loudly conveyed. An engaged reader will comprehend the actual meaning of life, love, which has gotten somewhat depersonalized in recent decades, and how unappreciative we have grown of life's small mercies by the conclusion of section one.

The author attempts to explain "Logotherapy" in the second part, and an engaged reader also learns more about it. The nature, purpose, and objectives are all clearly stated. Frankl generously introduces each Logotherapy idea, such as the existential vacuum, responsibility of survival, existential frustration. He also provides some excellent metaphorical examples and case studies to demonstrate the therapeutic approaches and process.

The book's third feature, which elaborates on tragic optimism, is appealing to readers who want to use Logotherapy's tenets on themselves. The trinity of suffering, guilt, and death is adequately justified, but a working therapist will need to do more in-depth research. This section is especially helpful for therapists to understand how Logotherapy may effectively treat anticipatory fears, sadness, compulsive behaviors, violence, jobless neurosis. However, a practitioner should learn more about the "Tragic Triad" because this section is too lengthy to understand with the information provided.

Considering that I suffer from anxiety, which is evident throughout much of section one of the book as well as occasionally in the other sections, I personally truly appreciated this book. This book is a great aid for understanding human psychology during depressive episodes since it provides in-depth descriptions of the behaviors and habits that occur. A book may become an immersive experience for the reader when you can relate to it in any way. It creates a sense of connection because you can see yourself experiencing everything in that location, at that moment. As a result, I rate this book a solid 5/5 for both the experiences and the narration.

Student’s Name: Shubham Rimal
Grade XII Khumbila
Roll no: 23065
Deerwalk Sifal School

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