Tuesdays with Morrie
The title of the book that was read for my first book this summer is called Tuesdays with Morrie. It is a heartwarming book written by Mitch Albom and the copyright date is in 1997. For such an inspiring book, it only has 192 pages. It tells the story of an old man restoring his friendship with one of his old students, Mitch Albom.
Mitch recalls back to his graduation at Brandeis University. It is spring in the year of 1979 when he receives his diploma. He is greeted by his old professor, Morrie Schwartz who is crying at the sight of Mitch. Morrie taught sociology classes at Brandeis, and mitch had taken almost all of them. The old friend gives Mitch a hug, who promises he will keep in touch, even though he does not keep his promise. Mitch then rewards Morrie with a special briefcase as a gift for all the things Mitch has learned in his classes.
Years after the graduation however, Morrie runs into terrible news. It is the news that he is dying from ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. This is a disease in which your body rots while your soul is perfectly healthy. It travels up your body starting at the feet and legs, and most likely would end a life when it hits the lungs. Since Morrie has been diagnosed with this disease, his story had become very popular with people all over the country. He was even on the show Nightline being interviewed by Ted Koppel. This is when Mitch had seen him for the first time in sixteen years, on Nightline. He realizes he had broken his promise and calls Morrie to schedule a time to visit.
He then travels from his home in Detroit to Morries home in West Newton, Massachusetts and visits him on a Tuesday. He then comes every week on Tuesdays to visit Morrie, which Mitch calls his last class. The reason he can come every Tuesday was because Mitch had now been working as a journalist for a Detroit newspaper, which had gone on strike, so he had time off to visit. The rest of the story shows how Morrie is growing weaker from this disease, but it does not affect him from teaching the ways of life to Mitch. They talk about the world, about feeling sorry for ourselves, about our regrets, about death, about the fear of aging, about marriage and even about forgiveness. They meet every Tuesday until Morrie lies in his deathbed. Also throughout the story are small flashbacks of their good times at Brandeis. Mitch shows that they had more of a father, son relationship then a teacher, student.
The title, Tuesdays with Morrie is a very significant title that has a lot of meaning. Morrie states that they should meet every Tuesday because him and Mitch are Tuesday people. Since Mitch is the narrator, Tuesdays with Morrie is a very appropriate title for this book because Mitch is telling everyone about his Tuesdays he spent with his old professor and the lesson on life that he learned throughout his whole experience.
My first impression on Mitch in this story was that he was an outgoing, smart person with high hopes and dreams. He hoped and tried very hard to fulfill his career and dream of being a professional musician. Mitch also seemed very unhappy with his life, and afraid to commit. He had married the woman of his dreams and lived on a hill in a big house, but it wasnt good enough for him. He felt that more could make out of his life. Also, on top of that, he didnt propose to his wife for seven years after they were dating. Lastly, he seemed to put his work before his family. When Morrie was teaching the lesson about marriage and family, he had told Mitch to put forth family first no matter what. This is when Mitch realized he had been putting work before his wife for a long time now.
From seeing Morrie on every Tuesday for about six months, Mitch had changed a lot during his last class. He now had put his wife and family first and tried to enjoy life as much as he possibly could. Mitch also said to Morrie that he did not cry, but by the end of the story Morrie had made Mitch cry. He had learned not to fear death and that eventually everyone does die no matter what you say or what you think. In a way, Morrie helped Mitch grow up a little bit more.
The passage I chose is on the fourth Tuesday after Mitch asks Morrie how to prepare for death. Morrie replies with The truth is . . . once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. He responds with a Buddhist philosophy that every day, one must ask the bird on his shoulder if this is the day I am going to die. The bird itself is symbolic of Morrie's consciousness that his death is fast-approaching, and his readiness for it. He is telling to Mitch that you must accept the fact that you will die one day before you can appreciate what you once were on earth.