A Comparison Of Mans Search For Meaning In Toni Morrison's Beloved

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In Viktor Frankl’s essay “Man’s Search For Meaning,” he recounts his experiences surviving the holocaust. Frankl shows how traumatic experiences shape people and force them to change in accordance with what is happening to them. Furthermore, he argues that adaptation was the only way he could survive. To prove this, he describes how he learned to shut himself off from certain aspects of his life and pay more attention to aspects of life that gave him hope, such as nature. Similarly, adaptation is also an important concern of Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved. In Beloved, Morrison explores Frankl’s idea about how people adapt differently to trauma, some love more than they previously had because they are finally free to do so, some try to find a shaky balance between independence and love and others rely too heavily on the love of a few. After Baby Suggs is freed from slavery, she feels that she is finally…show more content…
It is because of this love that she attempts to kill her children to keep them from being forced to return to slavery. Moreover, she loves them so much that she is willing to sacrifice them and cause herself pain because she believes that they would be better off dead than enslaved. Paul D criticizes her for this love, telling her, “Your love is too thick” (Morrison 194). Though Paul D criticizes Sethe’s seemingly abnormal response to the prospect of her children being enslaved, Frankl would argue that her response is actually not that abnormal. He believes that “an abnormal response to an abnormal situation is normal behavior” (Frankl 32). Meaning, when faced with a situation that causes you to have an abnormal state of mind, a “normal” reaction would be completely abnormal. Sethe’s reaction of attempting to kill her children could be seen as completely normal when her past trauma and deep love for her children is taken into
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