Viktor Frankl Sample Essay Paper
This paper is going to discuss on the profession made by Viktor Frankl. According to this profession, Viktor has been influenced by both psychoanalysis and existentialism and not Marxism. In this case, the existentialism that Viktor talks of refers to a philosophical movement that is directed or oriented toward two main themes. These themes are the centrality of human choice and the analysis of human existence. According to existentialism, it goes that a person can define his meaning of life or his own value as full of peace. In addition, the philosophy argues that one has a freedom of choosing his or her own path (Joyce, 2011).
Therefore, in existentialism, it is true that a person has the freedom of making his or her own choices. It is out of this freedom that responsibility, authenticity and individuality come in. so that a person can get a given amount of individuality, and he or she must possess a given amount of freedom so that he or she can think in a manner that is conducive to his or her way of life. Existentialism is in other words the essence of humanity. It is something that makes us distinct from anything or anyone else in the world. According to Merriam-Webster, freedom is defined as a state in which a person is free or is at liberty rather than being under physical restraint or confinement. It refers to the state or the quality of being free. It can also be said to be the absence of constraint, necessity, coercion in action or choice. Similarly, it can refer to liberation from restraint or slavery or from power of another person (Frankl, 2006).
For instance, some years ago, there was slavery. During this time, people of color were required to do as they were instructed. This is because they had no freedom. Among the things that they did under instructions were when to use the restroom, the kind of water fountain they had to drink from, among other things, because they were slave, they had no option but to obey the commands. They had no way of changing the status of being slaves unless they died or they were killed. Even in a situation where the owners changed, the slaves were still considered slaves (Ellison, 1995).
The time and experiences of Victor Frankl in the concentration camp was full of torture. There was too much torture to the level that he relied on faith and optimism. He chose or decided to rely on these regardless of the kind of situation he was going through. The main reason was that he was hungry for freedom. According to Satre’s belief, one was condemned to be free. According to him, ones freedom has no limit. The only problem is that we cannot stop being free. Satre’s belief is that in every aspect of a person’s life, there is decision making. He says that even emotions as well as subconscious involve decision or choice on a person’s part. In other words, nothing results from things just happening (Joyce, 2011).
On the other hand, Freud believes that a person is divided between superego or ego and his or her individual disposition. According to Freud, the basis of things is not freedom but is instead heredity. He believes that freedom is passed from one generation to another.
Marx’s belief on the other hand is that a person was limited and conditioned by the dictations of society. Marx did not believe in individualism or freedom of choice versus or against the leadership of the society on the people (Layton, 2010).
Marx believes that men get into definite relations that are not only indispensable but also independent of their will. They enter into relations of production corresponding to a definite development state of their material productive forces. Marx also believes that a person is a social being whose consciousness is determined and the other way round is not true (Frankl, 2006). Many view existentialism as a philosophy that is concerned with getting or finding one’s self as well as the meaning of life through personal responsibility, choice and free will. All people have a responsibility of living their life as they see fit, however, without hurting someone else or self.
In a broader point of view, existentialism is a philosophy formed in 20th century and is based on the analysis of human’s existence as well as the way they find themselves existing in the world. One time, I was working for one of the local television stations in my area. One day, one young man had to spend the night in his car with the main reason of waking up early to apply for an engineering job. When the man came in, he completed the application. The person was very articulate in speech. He had great qualifications for the job. However, he was not considered because he did not have an address. The lack of address means that he could not be contacted (Joyce, 2011).
It is hard to find out that a person having such great experience can be homeless. The big question is that of finding out what could have taken place in the life of this young man so that he was brought down so low. From there, we went to a homeless shelter to minister. I got a chance there to speak with some people on one on one basis. My intention was to see where they were on mentally as well as why they were in the situation that they were. Some people told me that the reason why they were homeless with no address or with no way of being reached or contact was because they considered that as their best way of living. This is because by living in that situation, they had no worries about buying groceries, paying rent and bills. They were looking for work so that they could manage to live what they saw as a life of luxury (Frankl, 2011).
Everything can be seen from a man but the last thing that can be taken is the freedom, which means choosing one’s own way. I agree with Freud that ego or superego is sometimes the basis of freedom. Therefore, it can be inherited. When people were young, they learned what they saw, what was said around them, and they would mimic or copy that. Therefore, when a person stays around something for a long time, the particular thing turns to be a part of the person. The only way in which a child can distinguish between what is wrong and what is right is by being told (Layton, 2010).
Sartre is applauded for drawing a lot of international attention to existentialism in the 20th century. Marx, Sartre and Freud all agree that human life is fully satisfying and complete because of losses and suffering that take place due to lack of power, perfection and control one has over the lives of others. Despite the fact that these people agree that life is not optimally satisfactory, it all the same has meaning. Therefore, existentialism is the journey and the search for true self as well as true personal meaning in life (Ellison, 1995).
In my mind freedom and individuality is a way of life, being able to make decisions for one self, act on your own accord, and doing as one see fit as long as it’s conducive for their lifestyle. I’m glad that we no longer live in the era of slavery, to where some people were made to do as others saw fit, and if they rebelled they would be punished. We now have the ability to speak to one another regardless of your skin color and not be punished. Most importantly, it is the arbitrary act that existentialism finds most objectionable-that is, when someone or society tries to impose or demand that their beliefs, values, or rules be faithfully accepted and obeyed.
Ellison, R. (1995). Invisible man. New York: Vintage International.
Frankl, V. E. (2006). Man’s search for meaning. Boston: Beacon Press.
Frankl, V. E. (2011). Man’s search for meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust. London: Rider.
Joyce, J. (2011). A portrait of the artist as a man.
Layton, D. (2010). Seductive poison: A Jonestown survivor’s story of life and death in the Peoples Temple. New York: Anchor Books.