The discussion in this paper is going to be based on two books; “The great divorce” written by C. S Lewis and “Man’s search for meaning” written by Victor Frankl. These books closely look at the life of a human being. In “The Great Divorce”, the narrator in this novel gets himself in a harsh and joyless town.
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This town is seen as either purgatory or hell and this depends on the duration a person stays there. Finally, the narrator gets a bus that carries those people who long to explore another place. He boards the bus and starts talking with the other travelers.
On arrival to the destination, the travelers, the narrator being among them, are gradually portrayed as ghosts. On the other hand, in the “Man’s search for meaning” the author gives an account of his experiences as a prisoner in the concentrated camp and gives a description of psychotherapeutic way of getting a meaning in life.
The book is in two parts; the first part provides the author’s analysis of his personal experiences in prisons and the second part presents his notions of meaning as well as the logotherapy theory he has. Basing on these books, it is going to be indicated that life is a journey which is travelled by people and in the course of this journey; there are ups and downs that are experienced.
Life is a Journey
The meaning of living is always there in a person’s life even during moments of suffering. Basing on Frankl’s book, “Man’s search for meaning”, this author indicates that, for every person who might be in great need, there is always someone who would feel for this person and is ready to help. The individual to offer help can be a friend, a relative, or any other person or it can be even God.
Basing on the life of a prisoner, the author draws a conclusion that the psychological reactions a prisoner experiences are not only the outcomes of the conditions of this person’s life but it is as well the result of the freedom of making choices this person has even in those conditions of extreme affliction.
The internal spiritual strength that the prisoner has is dependent on the amount of faith this person has in his future and the moment that faith is lost; the person is destined to be doomed.
A prisoner who has been set free undergoes three stages of psychological reactions in his life’s journey; depersonalization, danger of deformation stage and the bitterness stage. This is according to Frankl’s book,”Man’s search for meaning” The depersonalization stage is a stage of readjustment.
At this point, the prisoner progressively comes back to the world. At first, when the prisoner is set free, he or she is so confused that he or she does not even understand the meaning of freedom and is not able to respond to the freedom emotionally. A number of liberated prisoners see this freedom as a dream that will be snatched from them.
The body is the first to help in breaking away from this stage. It responds by greedy feeding and sleeping. After the body is replenished to a particular level, in turn, the mind is now able to respond and this is the starting point for the “danger of deformation stage” (second stage). When the mind is stressed up, this can put mental health at risk.
Frankl points out that when the prisoners went back to the societies to which they belonged, they had to fight with the experience of disillusionment and also with the experience of bitterness. The third stage is the bitterness stage. The prisoners are bitter at the absence of receptiveness of the outside world.
The prisoners as well experienced disillusionment on realizing that there is no end to suffering even after they have come out of prison. They are disillusioned on realizing that the long awaited happiness that they thought would come with their freedom is not there. The hope which kept the prisoners alive in the course of their entire stay in prison was no more.
Frankl points out that this experience is the hardest to get over. But as time goes by, the experience the prisoners had in the concentration camps eventually turned out to be just a nightmare that was held in their memories. At this point, the prisoner comes to realize that he no longer has fear for anything but God.
The journey of life continues even after death. Basing on Lewis’s novel, “The Great Divorce”, this author came to a realization that his work could alter the way a person viewed death and life that comes after it and directs his readers through the life after death of one person and that person is himself.
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Through the Lewis’s unhurried but stable transformation “journey after death”, he leads his readers in his personal transformation. With each chapter of this book, one has to turn out to be another person but still remain him or herself.
At the core of Lewis’s writings, he describes the beliefs he has and these beliefs can be put in to three classes. These classes are “evil versus good”, morality and values. In considering “good versus evil”, Lewis emphasizes that he considers evil and good as two topics that are not similar and yet closely connected. He believes that good in most cases overcomes evil.
To demonstrate these points, Lewis puts emphasis on them all through the whole novel and even in other books he has written. The reader will realize that in this book, “The Great Divorce”, Lewis makes use of the ghosts as illustrations of the way good can at all times win over evil. The ghosts get the power from God to conquer evil.
Life is a journey which is travelled by people and in the course of this journey there are ups and downs that are experienced. The two novels; “Man’s search for meaning” and “The Great Divorce” illustrate this.
At every point, life has meaning, even at a time when one is going through great affliction. Such people as prisoners undergo suffering. They go through some tough stages even after being set free before they can adapt to the normal life in the society.
The journey of life still continues after one dies. Lewis illustrates this in his novel in which he travels in a bus after death to a land where hell and heaven is portrayed. It is indicated that evil can, at all times, be won over by good. Lewis uses the ghosts to demonstrate how evil can be overpowered by good. He indicates that evil is overcome by good through God’s power.