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Man’s Search for Meaning and Janie Crawford
Even though Hurston and Frankl are very different writers some things in their novels can be similar to each other in a way, but to realize this you have to look deeper into the books to understand the similarities. In Their Eyes Were Watching God Janie goes through her life trying to find her true self. Man’s Search for Meaning explains that a man’s primary motivational source is his search for meaning. Different parts of Janie’s journey through life can be compared to the “Will to Meaning”, “Meaning of Life”, and “Meaning of Love”, because she has a motivation for her life, only Janie can define what her true meaning is, and she knows the feeling of true love.

“Will to Meaning” is a topic that is explained in Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl explains it as a person’s primary motivation for life, their reason for living. Frankl states, “Some authors who contend that meanings and values are “nothing but defense mechanisms, reaction formations and sublimations.” But as for myself, I would not be willing to live merely for the sake of my “defense mechanisms”….” (121) Janie’s “will to meaning” is that she wants to find love and marriage or love within marriage. “Naw, it’s real. Ah couldn’t stand it if he wuz tuh quit me. Don’t know whut Ah’d do. . He kin take most any lil thing and make summertime out of it when times is dull. Then we lives offa dat happiness he made till some mo’ happiness come along.” (141) In this quote Janie thinks that she has found true love with Tea Cake and can’t imagine life without him. She has almost fulfilled her motivation for life. The “Meaning of Life” as Frankl sees it is that it can only be defined by the own person. Nobody can have the same meaning to their life, every human is different. “For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s...
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