Fate vs. Freewill

Topics: The Bell Jar, Psychology, Sylvia Plath Pages: 3 (999 words) Published: September 1, 2008
Numerous people use fate as a cover-up in order to take less responsibility over their life. Many people believe that fate controls their every move and decision, and that even the choices they make are not really their own. Man’s Search for Meaning is a memoir written by Viktor Frankl in which fate vs. freewill plays a large part of Frankl’s story. Frankl is imprisoned in a concentration camp during the Second World War. He struggles to find inner peace as his journey progresses and his life unfolds. In The Bell Jar, a novel written by Sylvia Plath, Esther Greenwood is a girl searching to find her place in the world. As she falls into depression, she loses her power of freewill and slowly recedes into herself. Her mind becomes her prison as her will to live disintegrates. In both stories, the characters face indecision and inner struggles. They seesaw between the right to choose through freewill and letting fate take its course.

In Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl holds fate as his master. With nothing left to lose and nothing within his reach, he has no other choice but to let fate run its race. He says, “Fate was one’s master, and that one must not try to influence it in any way but instead let it take its own course.” (Frankl 77) By this he’s saying that there was nothing you could do to change your future and that you shouldn’t try to, either. By letting fate guide him, his life is ultimately saved. This happens when he is deported to another concentration camp where he is predicted to be gassed. He could’ve stayed if he tried hard enough, but instead he relied on his intuition and inner guiding force. As it turns out, the camp was not a crematorium. However, he finds out that after he left the previous camp, cannibalism had sparked into existence. He says, “Cannibalism had broken out and I had left just in time.” (Frankl 76) If he had stayed in the other work camp, he might have been influenced by this immoral act or injured. The Bell Jar holds a...
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