Survival, Meaning and Choice in the Face of War Analytical Essay by Nicky

Survival, Meaning and Choice in the Face of War
A look at the theme of choice in the time in "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl and the movies "Sophie's Choice" and "Pan's Labyrinth".
# 128572 | 1,193 words | 4 sources | APA | 2010 | US

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper discusses how in his landmark text, "Man's Search for Meaning", Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl opens the dialog on the acts and decisions that ordinary men and women were forced to make under the pressure of war. The paper also looks at how this dialog is further refined by such cinematic investigations as the 1982's "Sophie's Choice" and 2006's "Pan's Labyrinth". The paper examines how the broad reach of World War II becomes a compelling backdrop for the type of individual and internal struggles which persisted in the midst of such persistent terror and desire.

From the Paper:

"In both Sophie and Ofelia, the external control imposed upon them comes to act in this very way. Ironically, a common feature in both is their familial connection to the side of the aggressor rather than the victim. Sophie's father an aggressive anti-semitic Polish Nazi and Ofelia's a cruel officer of the fascist Franco regime aligned to the Nazis, both of the young protagonists only find themselves in their respective positions by virtue of finding some ethical objection to their respective fathers' behaviors. Thus, when either finds herself in a position of having to make a terrible decision, we as the audience are able to find some forgiveness. Understanding that which Frankl describes as a loss of self and a loss of the luxury of morality, we are far more capable of rationalizing the behaviors of Sophie, for instance, though she certainly can never forgive herself. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Frankl, Victor E. (1984). Man's Search for Meaning. Beacon Press.
  • Spelling, I. (2006). Guillermo del Toro and Ivana Baquero escape from a civil war into the fairytale land of Pan's Labyrinth. Sci Fi Weekly.
  • Uricchio, M. (1983). Sophie is Choice Film-Making. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Online at,4803241&dq=sophie%27s+choice
  • Zacharek, S. (2006). Guillermo del Toro's beautiful and harrowing adult fairy tale blends nighttime monsters with the everyday horror of Franco's Spain. Online at

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Survival, Meaning and Choice in the Face of War (2010, July 27) Retrieved July 04, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Survival, Meaning and Choice in the Face of War" 27 July 2010. Web. 04 July. 2020. <>