Another perspective - or lens - we can use to look at the individual is history. Of course, history, too, provides not one single view but a myriad of times, places, and perspectives.
A particularly sad chapter in history has been looked at more often than many others - probably because it is a chapter whose cruelty is beyond comprehension for most "normal" individuals. The chapter of history I am talking about is the Holocaust.
Elie Wiesel, one of the most famous Holocaust survivors, too, has tried to shed more light on this particularly dark chapter of human history.
Please read Elie Wiesel's Night and think about the following questions:
1) How does the historical experience of the author get transformed in(to) the book?
2) How does the experience of the holocaust change the understanding of the concept of "self" of the protagonist?
3) What can we, as individuals, learn from Night?
Topics for for further discussion:
1) The Individual and the State
2) Politics and Personal Responsibility
3) The Self and the Other
4) Despair and Hope
5) [Add Your Own Topic Suggestion]
You can find some background information about Night - including some links to excellent interviews with Elie Wiesel - in the post of November 7th, 2012: