Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is an interesting read that provides an alternative perception to life in a concentration camp. Having sold over 9 million copies worldwide, his short book been published multiple times and has reached various different countries. My particular copy was split into three sections, the first focuses on his experiences in concentration camps, the second outlines theories and psychotherapies relating to logotherapy’and the third is a short offering titled ‘The case for tragic optimism’. 
The first section of his work summarises his day to day life as a concentration camp prisoner, experiences of his fellow prisoners and insights into the prison guards and capos. Most of these summaries are no longer than a page or two and tend to avoid the most excruciating details of life in a concentration camp. His account is thought-provoking mainly due to the psychiatrist perspective he views these instances through. 
The second section sees Frankl explain his theory of logotherapy fully, but the he also surmises his theory within the first section of his book. A crude explanation of his theory of logotherapy is that all human beings have and strive towards a meaning in life. One of the implications of this view of human nature is that people can find meaning even in their suffering. This means that, even in spite of severe hardship, people don’t have to give up hope and view life in a meaningless nihilist vacuum. 
It this understanding of human nature that influences Frankl’s view of concentration camps. In some sad cases he alludes to prisoners not finding meaning in their life, giving up all hope in the face of their suffering and dying shortly after. However, there are many other cases, such as himself, that turns suffering into a positive thing that can fuel a person’s will to survive and achieve great things. This elicit optimism in both his theory and his view of concentration camps was incredibly interesting. 
I would not recommend this book to everyone. Firstly, it is important to read about the Holocaust but it can be too upsetting for some. Secondly, the logotherapy part of his book can be complicated and is certainly angled more towards those with an interest in psychology. Whilst the details of logotherapy are very interesting, it may not be for everyone. Despite the fact it may not be for everyone, this short book is extremely quotable and most people will at least be intrigued by some of his words. Here are a few of my highlights to ponder on: 
‘I told my comrades (who lay motionless, although occasionally a sigh could be heard) that human life, under any circumstances, never ceases to have a meaning, and that this infinite meaning of life includes suffering, dying, privation and death.’
‘What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.’
‘For the meaning of life differs from man to man, day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.’
‘The more one forgets himself -by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love – the more human he is and the more he actualises himself.’ 

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