Man's Search for Meaning Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What kind of outbreak affected the prisoners at the author's camp?

2. What symptom characterizes the first mental phase of prisoners in concentration camps?

3. What kind of sickness affected most of the prisoners in 1945?

4. Why does the author, after leaving camp, upon seeing an image of prisoners lying on their bunks, argue that these aren't horrible images?

5. Why did Frankl have to leave his shoes unlaced?

Short Essay Questions

1. As a new prisoner in camp, what decision did Frankl believe "marked the culminating point of the first phase of [his] psychological reaction"?

2. According to Frankl, what were the communal showers like? What was the attitude of the prisoners as they entered their first communal shower? Why is this important to Frankl?

3. According to the first section of the text, "Experiences in a Concentration Camp," what advantages did the Capo have over normal prisoners?

4. How were prisoners separated when they arrived at Auschwitz?

5. What does Frankl write about the sense of humor that developed in the concentration camp?

6. Who were termed "Moslems" in camp? What consequences did being called "Moslem" have?

7. In the section on "Experiences in a Concentration Camp," Frankl describes a physical condition that affected "nearly all the camp inmates." What was this condition? How did it affect Frankl?

8. What were the initial conditions of camp life for the prisoners that arrived to Auschwitz with Frankl?

9. After the initial mental phase that was characterized by shock, what characterized the second phase that Frankl noticed in his fellow prisoners and in himself?

10. What were the beatings like in the concentration camp? What does Frankl argue was the worst part of these?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Frankl writes, "The term 'existential' may be used in three ways: to refer to (1) existence itself, i.e., the specifically human mode of being; (2) the meaning of existence and (3) the striving to find a concrete meaning in personal existence, that is to say, the will to meaning." What does Frankl write about existential frustration and the existential vacuum?

Essay Topic 2

What role does Frankl give to the subconscious? What role does he give the conscience? Does he address simple, innate human drives?

Essay Topic 3

Frankl writes of how two men who were contemplating suicide seemed to have lost meaning in their lives. He writes, "In both cases it was a question of getting them to realize that life was still expecting something from them; something in the future was expected of them." How does Frankl understand and describe those who commit suicide? What role does finding the meaning in their lives play for him? Does he sympathize with their despair over their feeling of meaningless and suffering? Does he understand suicide to be a choice, or a simple reaction to unfavorable circumstances? Is this understood as characteristic of neurosis?

(see the answer keys)

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