Man’s Search for Meaning

Man’s Search for Meaning

Man’s Search for Meaning Logotherapy: Psychiatry Rehumanized Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Frankl writes that many psychologists have understood the mind as a machine and thus have focused on techniques for fixing that machine. He feels that it is important to treat patients as more than machines—as humans. Who a man becomes is solely determined by the decisions that man makes. Frankl ends his book by saying that, “man is that being who invented the chambers of Auschwitz; however, man is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.”
Frankl’s ideas are much more human-focused than are those of other philosophers and psychologists of his time. He sees the potential for both goodness and evil within man. Despite the horrors of WWII, Frankl urges the reader to not give in to the belief that man has no control over his life. Instead, we must constantly maintain hope in our ability to choose our own paths. This is the end of the original version of the book, where Frankl ties everything back to his horrifying yet powerful experiences in the death camps.
Themes
Suffering and Hope Theme Icon
Freedom, Optimism, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Psychology and Logotherapy Theme Icon