Post Grad Summer Assignment
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Dear incoming Postgraduate student,
To prepare for your postgraduate year I would like you to read Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search For Meaning during the summer before school starts in September.
author: VIKTOR FRANKL
TITLE: MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING
ISBN: 978-0-8070-1427-1 (pbk.)
To help you, I have created study questions for you to answer as you read. There will be a test on this book during the first week of school, and all the test questions will come from these study questions. So, those who prepare well and review will see a benefit on the test.
Pages ix-xvi; 1-20
1) Explain what Harold Kushner (foreword) means when he says that this book is a book about survival and what his quotation from Nietsche means.
2) What is Frankl’s most enduring insight?
3) Why did Frankl write this book?
4) What does Frankl have to say about success and happiness?
5) Why did Frankl let his American visa lapse?
6) What is the section “Experiences in a concentration camp” about?
7) What does Frankl have to say about the prisoners reactions to the days of transport?
8) What does Frankl say is a common reaction of survivors of the camps to talking about their experiences?
9) What are the three phases of a prisoner’s psychological reaction to camp life?
10) What are the symptoms of the first and second phases?
1) How did the circumstances of life in the concentration camp mortify normal reactions and what were the first reactions of new prisoners?
2) What was reaction of the prisoner who was in the second psychological phase of integration into camp life, when something bad happened to someone else?
3) What does Frankl have to say about punishment?
4) How did Frankl gain an advantage in his dealings with the Capo of his work detail?
5) Why was apathy a necessary part of a prisoner’s psychology?
6) What did prisoners dream about and talk about?
7) What does Frankl mean by “cultural hibernation and to what does he attribute its cause?”
8) What is Frankl’s theory of why less robust intellectuals survived while the “hardier” people did not?
9) What is the analogy Frankl uses to describe human suffering?
10) Explain what Frankl means by “the size of human suffering is absolutely relative” and give some examples he uses.
11) What does Frankl say about passing judgment on other men?
1) What is Frankl’s explanation of his viewing a photograph of the camps as not so bad? (p 48)
2) Why did Frankl volunteer to take care of patients in a typhus ward and what risks did he run in doing so and what benefits accrued to him from his decision?
3) How did the prisoners’ being reduced to human beings only concerned with their own survival affect their behavior in camp?
4) When Frankl was working in the typhus ward of the “rest camp” he found a place to be alone. Describe the place and explain why it was important for Frankl to be alone.(51-52)
5) What was Frankl’s rule for talking with the guards? Why did it help him?
6) Describe the dilemma Frankl faced over deciding whether to accompany the sick to the rest camp and what he talked about with his friend Otto.
7) Why were the prisoners afraid of making decisions? Describe Frankl’s debate with himself about trying to escape.
8) Describe Frankl’s last days in camp.
9) Summarize Frankl’s explanation of the apathy of prisoners and the capacity for rising above this apathy by making individual choices. What does his quotation of Dostoyevsky mean, and how did the idea expressed in that quotation influence Frankl’s decisions and life in camp?
10) Which were the men in the camps who fell victim to the camp’s degenerating influences?
11) Why did Frankl’s fellow prisoner who was a well known composer and librettist die?
1) What physical impact did the loss of hope have on the prisoners and why was that so?
2) How did Frankl change the idea of what man could expect from life and why did that change make a fundamental difference in the lives of the prisoners?
3) When the prisoners were fasting in order to save tHe life of the man who had broken into the store of potatoes, what did Frankl say to them about retaining hope and finding meaning.(80-82)
4) How does Frankl talk about the guards and administrators.
5) The third stage of a prisoners psychological life: after liberation.
6) What is the central tenet of Frankl’s logotherapy and how has that tenet influenced the writing about his experiences n a concentration camp?
7) Give Frankl’s three part definition of existentialism.
8) Why does Frankl say that equilibrium is not healthy?
1) What is “the existential vacuum” and how does it manifest itself?
2) What does Frankl say is:
a) the meaning of life;
b) the meaning of love;
c) the meaning of suffering;
e) paradoxical intention;
3) What is “The credo of psychiatry,” according to Frankl?
1) What does Frankl mean by the “hierarchy of values?”
Good luck with your summer, and enjoy your reading! I look forward to meeting you at school in September. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about the summer assignment.
lampew [at] southkentschool.org