Man’s Search for Meaning was first published in German in 1946, just one year after the end of the Second World War and the liberation of its author, psychologist Viktor Emil Frankl, from a Nazi concentration camp. With its exhortation to each individual to find the meaning in his or her life, Frankl’s combined memoir and psychological treatise—first translated into English in 1959—has become one of the most influential books of the twentieth century.
Frankl’s book consists of two long essays and a short postscript added in 1984. The first essay, “Experiences in a Concentration Camp,” details the author’s experiences and observations while imprisoned in several different concentration camps, paying particular attention to how finding meaning in even the most dire of circumstances allowed him and others to survive. The second essay, “Logotherapy in a Nutshell,” describes the basic principles of Frankl’s meaning-centered therapeutic practice. The postscript, “The Case for a Tragic Optimism,” explores the idea of “saying yes to life in spite of everything.”
“Man's Search for Meaning Summary.” Enotes.com, Enotes.com, www.enotes.com/topics/mans-search-for-meaning.