Victor Frankl Essay, Research Paper
To comprehend the unfaltering love of Victor Frankl, we mustunderstand his circumstances. There is no way we can step into his shoes toexperience his tragedies, but his vivid descriptions help us vicariously relivehis tribulation. He opens a window into his world, and we can actually see thescenes he paints for us. ?The accompanying guards kept shouting at us anddriving us with the butts of their rifles,? he says (348). It is difficult to putourselves in his position of despair. Being forced to do things, in abominableconditions, against our will when our lives depend on it is not something we,as modern Americans, know much about. It may be more difficult tounderstand how he keeps his hope alive. Frankl clings to the one thing even the Nazis could not take away fromhim. The love for his wife was a bond even death could not erase. ?Therewas no need for me to know; nothing could touch the strength of my love, mythoughts, and the image of my beloved,? Frankl writes (349). I think it iswonderful how he can recall his wife?s face amidst the chaos around him. Heexhibits great discipline in a place of desolation. He has an optimisticapproach to the hardships of the day. When the others are moping about,he still thinks about her. In addition, his thoughts take him away from anyphysical pain he may be experiencing. Even though he is lovelorn, he has theability to drift to another world though his love (349). What words can describe a love like Frankl?s? John Alan Lee writes atypology on different kinds of love. Looking at a few types, we can seequalities that characterize Frankl?s love. A touch of eros is apparent,because Frankl can remember what his wife looks like. He describes hersmile and look. ?Her look was then more luminous than the sun which wasbeginning to rise? (Frankl 348). Maybe when they first saw each other,there was a physical attraction. It was probably not an infatuation withlooks, because he imagines a conversation with her. They had a very strongrelationship, so it is dissimilar to eros in that respect. Furthermore, itwould definitely not have ludic qualities that are more fleeting (Lee302-303). Storge love would most likely be the closet type to their love. Leedescribes falling into storgic love, ?with the passage of time and theenjoyment of shared activities? (305). He also mentions how some peoplebased their love on friendship and companionship. I believe this is the loveFrankl and his wife felt when they were together. ?A man who has nothingleft in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in thecontemplation of his beloved? (Frankl 348-349). Even when they wereseparated from each other, it was a sweet love that Frankl had to get himthrough that incorrigible time. Also characterized by storgic love, is the incredible strength of thebond. Even when the lovers are apart from each other, it does not stressthe relationship as much as other types. Lee gives us the example ofUlysses and Penelope (305). Even though Ulysses had not seen his wife inten years and had been told she was dead, he still used all his strength toget back home. I am of the opinion that Frankl?s love for his wife was thisstrong. It did not matter whether his wife was dead or not. ?Had I knownthen that my wife was dead, I think that I would still have given myself,undisturbed by that knowledge, to the contemplation of her image…? (Frankl349). The love was truly admirable that they had for each other. At thesame time, I do not think their love was a mania. He did not experiencedespair from her absence; instead, it gave him hope. However, if we throw in a bit of agape love, I think this well describesdifferent aspects of Frankl?s great love for his wife. Lee defines agape as,?a generous, unselfish, giving of oneself? (309). The affection Frankl andhis wife had for each other was probably like this. I can imagine him doinglittle things around the house for her that showed how much he cared. Itwas certainly a love they shared equally. Finally, it would seem to me Frankl?s noble love was scarce. Working inthe cold ditches everyday must have psychologically then physically killedmany men. Those who had no family had nothing to hope for. They didn?thave an image or memory that could take them away from theirsurroundings. The lucky ones that had wives and children could dream aboutbeing with them someday. Where would Frankl be if he did not have hiswife? The heartaches experienced by the people were truly tragic.Fortunately, Frankl had a love Death itself could not kill.
Works CitedFrankl, Victor. ?Love in a Concentration Camp.? Reading, Writing, and the Humanities. Ed. JoRay McCuen and Anthony C. Winkler. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, Inc., 1991. 347-349.Lee, John A. ?The Styles of Loving.? Reading, Writing, and the Humanities. Ed. JoRay McCuen and Anthony C. Winkler. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, Inc., 1991. 299-311.