Man’S Search for Meaning

In Victor E. Frankl’s novel Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor recounts his trials and torments while being held prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.   He searches for reasons to live in all of his daily activities, and he concludes that life never ceases to have meaning.   This novel connects with our study of world religions because it covers the meaning of suffering, the struggle for identity and the task to become more human.   These themes are all part of human existence and all involve religion in one form or another.  
As Victor and other prisoners arrived at the concentration camps, they were stripped of all belongings and documents and were assigned nothing more than a number, often tattooed onto the prisoner’s skin.   The prisoners were nothing more than a number and a body to the Nazi guards and were treated as objects.   Victor writes, “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that 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.”   This proves that all men can be stripped of possessions and comforts, but can never lose their true identity and the desire to help others.   This is connected with our study of world religions because all religions help to create and preserve the identity of its followers and work together to become a unified body in Christ.  
While attempting to survive the cold winters and harsh labor, Victor never ceased to find meaning in his daily suffering and struggles.   He used the support of his newfound friends in the concentration camp and the hope for survival to stay alive.   He writes, “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.”   He found ways to survive the harsh treatment, and he stayed alive and strong mentally to...