Death and the Meaning of Life in Logotherapy and in “The Death of Ivan Ilych”: Psychological Analysis of a Literary Work

Kalebe da Silva de Lima, Matheus Reichelt Flores, Rosângela Araújo Darwich

Affiliation: University of Amazon, Belém, Brazil

Keywords: Psychology, Literature, Interdisciplinarity, Logotherapy, Death

Categories: News and Views, Humanities, Social Sciences and Law

DOI: 10.17160/josha.10.6.946

Languages: Portuguese

This study aims to reflect on principles that connect psychology and literature as a way to relate to the themes of “death” and “meaning of life”. For this, we studied part of the vast theoretical framework produced by Viktor Frankl, founder of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis, and by some of his commentators, as well as by psychologists who report this approach to the literature. We analyzed the literary work “The Death of Ivan Ilych”, by Leo Tolstoy, from the perspective of Logotherapy, in order to investigate the relationship between death and the meaning of life. The book allowed us to illustrate the Franklian perspective, according to which the proximity of death can generate meaning for life, hastening the realization of the three categories of values (creative, experiential and attitudinal values). More precisely, we verified the opportunity for the realization of attitudinal values on the part of the protagonist of the novel, in the face of the inevitability of the sufferings he experiences.

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