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This book captured my heart it taught me a lot

Probably the greatest book I've read. Brought me to tearssss.

"learn how to die and you will learn how to live."... i could never forget this quote from mitch's professor.. this story was posted in our book way back when i was third year highschool.... it's full of lesson.. it values life.

From childhood to senility, the very people who made beautiful contribution in our lives always seem to have special place in our hearts, minds & souls.

This movie/book was one of our projects. As a teenager, I really had no interest to read this kinds of books but after a few more chapters, I realized that this book contains lots of valuable lessons. It changed the way I see things. It also made me realize that life is very important so we should not waste it but instead make it a very happy one. We should also spend our lives with our loved ones because we dont know how long we will be with them. I relly love this book/move. ily Morrie!!!!!!!!

I'm so happy that finally I got a copy of Mitch Albom's book, Tuesdays with Morrie. I have been wanting to have it. This is the best book I've ever read. I've shed a lot of tears, laughed out loud and pondered about the reality and wisdom shared by an intelligent, compassionate, loving and very kind old man. I love you Morrie Schwartz. Forever I will cherish your words.

The movie as well as the book inspired me a lot. This was the 3rd time i read an inspirational book. Just like other people i had no interests reading books before but as i read the 3 books namely living, loving, learning; the secret and this tuesdays with morrie it change the way i live my life. The three books have their similarities but this one focus more about dying. It indeed reminded us to spend our lives meaningful and worthwhile.

the greatest book i read. lots of valuable lessons.it made me cry.

one of the most inspirational books ever.

''when you know how to die, you know how to live'' what a line. :)

I used to have a teacher similar to morrie best teacher ever...and its weird when he says the touching part lol

haha, i love this ' throw down your books, you have nothing to lose but your grades.'

Paper #3: Tuesday’s With Morrie & The Last Lecture
In Tuesday’s With Morrie, the book really gives you a different perspective on life. It teaches you how thinking positively can really shift your attitude. It also shows how much we should appreciate life and how we need to live each day to our fullest potential. At the end of the day to know that we’ve done our best. To summarize the three main ideas from this book can be illustrated with Morrie’s quotes. These quotes summarized are Live Life, Trust Others and Do Good.
Live life; “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live”. (pg 53) This is such a powerful thought because the one limiting factor in our lives is fear. We have fear every day, fear of disappointing others, fear of things that are coming up, but most notably the fear of dying. We all know that it is coming but we all try our best to hide that and keep living. The perspective in the book gives you a completely different view. By knowing that death is coming and accepting that fact, you will begin to notice many more things in life. Perhaps it’s just the simple things when you actually let silence dominate for awhile. You’ll begin to notice the smallest sound, maybe the ticking of a clock, maybe a bug buzzing around. These are things that you would hardly notice if you were just going on with your busy life. I honestly think that’s the beauty in life. How powerful is it to get to a state where you can see and recognize these things. That’s why the quote is so powerful and eye opening in the sense that it shows only when we’re in the right state of mind can we really live.
Morrie also emphasized to trust others “You closed your eyes. That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see; you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too-even when you are in the dark. Even when you’re falling.” (pg 43) How often do we go through life... [continues]

A Prelude to the Thoughts of Morrie Schwartz
What's on your mind right now? Are you satisfied with your surroundings? Do you wish for a better life? These are questions that we wish to answer but just can't seem to grasp. This criticism paper attempts to find answers to these questions.
This paper seeks to clarify what makes the novel Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom such a success amongst its readers. This paper is not a pamphlet wherein you may find frequently asked questions and their answers but this paper serves as a guide to discovering the thoughts of Morrie Schwartz and what the readers of the novel have to say about him and his precepts. The paper may not affect you much after reading it but I'm hoping that It will make you understand things a bit more as this question is discussed: "What feature of the novel essentially makes it compelling for readers?"
While searching for answers I shall be using the reader response approach to literary criticism since this paper requires thoughts and opinions of others. With this method I shall come up with surveys that answer several questions that were discussed in the novel and also opinions on certain topics that I wish to emphasize in this paper. This approach allows me to go beyond the barriers and get the outlook of others about the novel.

Experience is what connects us with others
The very personal tone of the novel Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom is essentially influenced by the author's purpose for readers to establish a direct connection with its main characters.
The book is subtitled "An old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson". The book is about a young man who loses his way (Albom), and the old man who makes him realize this (Schwartz). How did Albom lose his way? After college graduation (1976, Brandeis University, Massachusetts) he promised to keep in touch with his professor but never did. Then his favorite uncle, 44, died of pancreatic cancer and Albom suddenly felt time... [continues]

Tuesdays with Morrie, is a true story about a sports writer, Mitch Albom, who found him self, restoring an old friendship. It leads him into looking after his old
College professor, Morrie Schwartz and before he knew it, he was learning life’s lessons. Morrie has been diagnosed with Lou
Gehrigs Disease and is actively dying. This story is about the compassion and insight of a man who knew good in his heart and tried to lived his life to the fullest, until the day he died at home, autonomy. I found it difficult to summarize this touching story. The book has not only left me with a new insight to my own life, but more importantly, how I treat others. It made me reexamine my own ethical principles that I believe in. Tuesdays with Morrie has left me humbled. It appears as though he had a complete peace and wisdom of humanitarianism as we know it and all strive to achieve. May it be the passage to our heaven?
Ethical theories and principles are the foundations of ethical study from which points of view can be established as decisions are made. Each theory emphasizes different points and each principle has common goals that each theory tries to define (1,2,3,4).
As I read this story, I learned that Morrie Schwartz’ has related some of the most familiar theories we use, to his life’s greatest lessons.
Some of Morrie’s greatest insights are his views on how culture plays into our lives.
He explains to Mitch throughout his story that he has spent his life creating his own culture, listening to his heart and doing what was right for him, instead of worrying about what was right by society’s standards. One problem he sees is that we tend to see each other as dissimilar rather than alike. The ethical principle of autonomy states an ethical theory should allow people to have control over them selves and to be able to make decisions that apply to their lives. This means that people should have control over their lives as

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson

“You see, you closed your eyes. That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too--even when you’re in the dark. Even when you’re falling.”

“The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”

“I like myself better when I'm with you.”

“Life is a series of pulls back and forth... A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. Most of us live somewhere in the middle. A wrestling match...Which side win? Love wins. Love always wins”

“Don't let go too soon, but don't hold on too long.”

“Don't cling to things because everything is impermanent.”

“Well, for one thing, the culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We're teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it. Create your own. Most people can't do it.”

“there are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage: If you don't respect the other person, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don't know how to compromise, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. If you can't talk openly about what goes on between you, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you don't have a common set of values in life, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. Your values must be alike.' - Morrie Schwartz”
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie

“Love wins, love always wins.”

“This is part of what a family is about, not just love. It's knowing that your family will be there watching out for you. Nothing else will give you that. Not money. Not fame. Not work.”

“We've got a sort of brainwashing going on in our country, Morrie sighed. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that's what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it--and have it repeated to us--over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all of this, he has no perspective on what's really important anymore.

Wherever I went in my life, I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. 'Guess what I got? Guess what I got?'

You know how I interpreted that? These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.

Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I'm sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you're looking for, no matter how much of them you have.”

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. Let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in we’ll become too soft. But a wise man named Levin said it right. He said, “Love is the only rational act.”

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. Let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in we’ll become too soft. But a wise man named Levin said it right. He said, “Love is the only rational act.”

“The truth is, when our mothers held us, rocked us, stroked our heads -none of us ever got enough of that. We all yearn in some way to return to those days when we were completely taken care of - unconditional love, unconditional attention. Most of us didn't get enough.”

“Giving to other people makes me feel alive. Not my car or my house. Not what I look like in the mirror. When I give my time, when I can make someone smile after they were feeling sad...”

“Giving to other people makes me feel alive. Not my car or my house. Not what I look like in the mirror. When I give my time, when I can make someone smile after they were feeling sad...”

“I know I cannot undo this. None of us can undo what we’ve done, or relive a life already recorded.”

“This is how you start to get respect, by offering something that you have.”

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." (p.52)

Take my condition. The things I am supposed to be embarrassed about now — not being able to walk, not being able to wipe my ass, waking up some mornings wanting to cry — there is nothing innately embarrassing about them. It's the same for women not being thin enough, or men not being rich enough. It's just what our culture would have you believe. Don't believe it.
Morrie speaks these words of advice to Mitch during their eleventh Tuesday together, when they talk specifically about culture. Gradually, Morrie has come to accept his physical handicaps, just as he has come to accept his impending death. He complains that the culture is wrong to deem natural physical need as socially embarrassing, and thus he refuses to believe that his handicaps are shameful. In rejecting the values of the popular culture, Morrie creates his own set of mores, which accommodate the physical shortcomings popular culture finds pitiable and embarrassing. As Morrie sees it, popular culture is a dictator under which the human community must suffer. He has already suffered enough from his disease, and does not see why he should seek social acceptance if it is not conducive to his personal happiness. Throughout the book, popular culture is portrayed as a vast brainwashing machine, wiping clean the minds of the public, and replacing the inherent kindness they posses at birth with a ruthless greed and selfish focus.
You see, . . . you closed your eyes. That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too — even when you're in the dark. Even when you're falling.
Morrie says this to his class in a flash back during the second Tuesday. He has asked his class to perform a trust fall exercise, in which the students test one another's trust and reliability by doing trust falls; one student will fall straight backwards and must rely on another student to catch them. Not one student can trust another until one girl falls without flinching. Morrie notes that the girl had closed her eyes, and says that this exercise serves as a metaphor for the secret to trust in relationships; one must sometimes trust blindly, relying only on what they feel to guide them in their decision-making. He uses the exercise to teach his students that trustworthiness is a quality shared by two people in a partnership, and that each person takes a risk in trusting the other. This risk, however, is a risk that people must take. Morrie teaches his students that trust is blind; one can only judge whether or not to trust another based on an instinctive feeling, not because of any rational judgment or method of thinking. To trust someone is to close your eyes and fall back, hoping that the person your instincts have told you is trustworthy will catch you and keep you from harm.
As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed as ignorant as you were at twenty- two, you'd always be twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die, it's the positive that you understand you're going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.
Morrie speaks these words of advice to Mitch on their seventh Tuesday together, when they discuss the common fear of aging. Morrie tells Mitch that the happiness of youth is a farce, as not only do young people suffer very real miseries, but they do not have the wisdom of age to deal with them. Morrie has never feared aging; he embraces it. He believes that if he were to wish for youth, that would indicate his dissatisfaction with the life he has lived. He explains to Mitch that to fight age is fight a hopeless battle, because aging and death are inevitable, and a natural part of the life cycle. Morrie has lived through every age up to his own, and he is therefore a part of each of them. He does not wish to return to these particular ages, as each of them are constituents of the man he is now. He is more eager to explore new frontiers he must face in the future, even if that future is very limited. In accepting his own death, Morrie is able to savor the little time he has left to live, instead of wasting away, frustrated and angry that his time on earth is soon to end.
The truth is . . . once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.
Morrie says this on the fourth Tuesday in response to Mitch's question about how one can prepare for death. He responds with a Buddhist philosophy that every day, one must ask the bird on his shoulder if that day is the day he will die. The philosophy serves as a metaphor for his awareness that his death may come at any moment. The bird itself is symbolic of Morrie's consciousness that his death is fast-approaching, and his readiness to accept it when it does arrive. He hopes that Mitch will realize that this bird is on everyone's shoulder at every moment of their lives, despite how young or old they may be. When he tells Mitch that one must know how to die before one can know how to live, he means that one must accept the possibility of one's own death before he can truly appreciate what he has on earth, as the sobering awareness that one day, it will all be out of reach, prompts the urge to appreciate and value what one can have only for a limited period of time, and to use every moment of that time doing something that one will not regret when the bird sings its last note.
After the funeral, my life changed. I felt as if time were suddenly precious, water going down an open drain, and I could not move quickly enough. No more playing music at half-empty night clubs. No more writing songs in my apartment, songs that no one would hear.
Mitch reveals this resolution in the third chapter of the book, The Student, in which he describes the passionate, earnest, innocent young man he had been before entrenching himself in greed and material wealth. Upon the untimely death of his favorite uncle, Mitch's outlook on life is forever changed. He suddenly feels that the time is precious, and is compelled to live his life to its fullest potential, which, at the time, he believes is the attainment of financial success. The quote serves as Mitch's explanation of how he has transformed from an honest, hopeful young man into a money-grubbing professional who has abandoned his long-harbored dreams in exchange for financial security. It is clear that Mitch feels disconnected with the young man he once was at Brandeis, but desperately wants to reestablish a connection with his former ambitions and ethical values. Mitch had abandoned his dreams for musical success at a very vulnerable period in his life, as he had grown increasingly discouraged by his failure in playing the nightclub circuit. The death of his favorite uncle only served to compound his disillusionment, and, more than any other factor, influenced Mitch to envision life as a race to beat the clock, sucking dry every moment to attain wealth and power as a business professional.

Mitch Albom - Morrie's former student at Brandeis University, and the narrator of the book. After having abandoned his dreams of becoming a famous musician, he is disgusted by his desire for financial success and material wealth, though neither fill the void and unhappiness he feels. He has been working himself nearly to death, and suddenly finds himself out of a job when the staff at the newspaper he writes for decides to strike. Each Tuesday, he learns from Morrie, his that he needs to reassess his life, and to value love over money, and happiness over success.
Read an in-depth analysis of Mitch Albom.
Morrie Schwartz - Mitch's favorite professor from Brandeis University, and the focus of the book, Morrie now suffers from ALS, a debilitating, incurable disease which ravages his body, but, cruelly, leaves him intellectually lucid. He had taught sociology at Brandeis, and continues to teach it to Mitch, instructing him on "The Meaning of Life," and how to accept death and aging. After a childhood in which affection was largely absent, he thrives on physical contact as a baby would. He has a passion for dancing and music, and is quick to cry, especially since the onset of his disease. He does not suffocate his emotions, but shares them openly, and rejects the popular cultural norms in favor of creating his own system of beliefs. Mitch portrays him as a man of ultimate wisdom.
Read an in-depth analysis of Morrie Schwartz.
Ted Koppel - One of the most famous living television interviewers, Koppel conducts three interviews with Morrie for the news show "Nightline." He is surprised when Morrie asks him personal questions just after they have met, though he immediately seems to like Morrie, and eventually grows to call him a friend. He is moved almost to tears during his last interview with Morrie, having deconstructed what Morrie had called his "narcissistic" television personality.
Charlotte - Morrie's caring wife, who, at his insistence, keeps her job as a professor at M.I.T. throughout Morrie's illness.
Janine - Mitch's patient wife who willingly takes a phone call from Morrie, whom she has never met, and insists upon joining Mitch on his next Tuesday visit. Although she usually does not sing upon request, she does for Morrie, and moves him to tears with her beautiful voice.
Peter - Mitch's younger brother who lives in Spain. Peter flies to various European cities seeking treatment for his pancreatic cancer, though he refuses any help from his family, who he has for the most part estranged himself from. He is reluctant when Mitch first tries to reestablish a relationship with him, but eventually warms.

Morrie Schwartz
The title character of Tuesdays With Morrie has spent most of his life as a professor of sociology at Brandeis University, a position he has fallen into only "by default." He is an excellent teacher, and retires only after he begins to lose control of his body to ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gherig's disease. The disease ravages his body, but, ironically, leaves his mind as lucid as ever. He realizes that his time is running out, and that he must share his wisdom on "The Meaning of Life" with the world before it is too late to do so. Mitch serves as a vehicle through which he can convey this wisdom, to Mitch personally, and, more indirectly, to a larger audience which he reaches after his death by means of the book itself. He and Mitch plan for the book during his dying days, deeming it their "final thesis together." He is also able to reach a vast audience through his interviews with Ted Koppel, which are broadcast nation-wide on ABC-TV's "Nightline."
Morrie has an unmistakable knack for reaching through to the human essence of every individual he befriends. He is even able to deconstruct Koppel, who is a thick-skinned national celebrity. He does so by asking Koppel what he feels is "close to his heart." Love is his main method of communication. Just as he reaches Koppel through his thick celebrity skin, he reaches Mitch through his dense veneer of professionalism and greed. He sees that Mitch has surrendered his sense of self to the beliefs of popular culture, and urges him to reclaim the kind, caring young man he once was at Brandeis. In telling Mitch stories of his life experiences and personal beliefs, he teaches him to reject the corrupt mores endorsed by popular culture in favor of his personal, ethical system of values. He does not immerse himself in the media as most of America does, but instead invests himself in people and their potential to love.
Morrie also chooses to react against popular cultural norms in his acceptance of his own debilitating disease and imminent death. He has lived and loved to his fullest extent, and is intent on continuing to do so as he dies. Having always lived as a fiercely independent man, it is difficult for him to rely on others for all of his basic needs, though he refuses to be embarrassed by his physical shortcomings, and tries in earnest to enjoy "being a baby again." In his childhood, he has been deprived of love and attention, and now that he is once again reliant on others as he was in his infancy, he thrives on the love and physical affection provided by his friends and family.
Mitch Albom
Mitch is a man with a good heart who has surrendered his dreams of becoming a musician to dreams of material wealth and professional success. He has grown disillusioned and values money over love. After working himself nearly to death, leaving little time for himself or his wife Janine, the union to which he belongs at the Detroit newspaper he works for goes on a long strike, and for the first time, he finds himself with neither work nor a steady paycheck. Upon learning of the strike, he grows increasingly frustrated by the career and life decisions he has made, and experiences a life-altering epiphany in which he realizes that he needs to change. He wants a chance at self-redemption, a chance to reassess his priorities so that he may recreate for himself a fulfilling life, enriched with people and activities that give him meaning and purpose.
It is only with Morrie's encouragement that Mitch is able to realize the time he has wasted in all of the years he has immersed himself in work that now seems relatively meaningless. With each week he travels to visit Morrie and listen to his lessons, his view of what he has missed and what he must change in his life becomes more lucid. As he watches Morrie die, he realizes that, like his professor, he wants to die knowing that he has lived his life to its fullest extent, certain that he has loved and forgiven himself and others as often and as sincerely as he could. He sees in Morrie the man he aspires to be, a man who values love over money, and people over tabloid gossip and superficial vanity. It is because of Morrie's influence that he is able to change his own life and outlook to become more like his professor, his mentor, who has encouraged him to be loving and kind since his college days, when he walked around campus with a veneer of toughness. Only Morrie can penetrate the toughness that has grown around Mitch's heart, which he ultimately succeeds in doing.
Peter
Mitch's younger brother, Peter lives in Spain after having moved to Europe immediately after graduating from high school. He is now suffering from pancreatic cancer, and flies to various European cities seeking treatment. However, he continually refuses to accept help from his family, namely from Mitch, as he has, for the most part, estranged himself from them after his departure from the United States. He does not want help from Mitch or any other member of his family presumably because he has too much pride to accept it. Growing up, he earned a reputation as the family bad boy, as where Mitch had been the family's clean-cut, straight-A student. Mitch's brother is a man who does not want help from a family he has deserted, and who feels that he must prove himself and his independence to them.

Much like Mitch had during his college years at Brandeis, Peter protects himself with a thick veneer of toughness. He has not asked for help from his family since his high school graduation, and has no intention of doing so as an adult. When Mitch contacts him, he is very reluctant to reestablish a relationship with his brother, and leaves a curt message that he is doing just fine and does not need anyone else's help. He also reminds Mitch that he does not want to talk about his illness. But as Mitch learns from Morrie, everyone, to some degree, needs other people to survive, thus the quote by Auden which Morrie recites numerous times during his lessons with Mitch, "Love or perish." Despite his fierce independence and refusal of help, Peter also needs the love of friends and family to survive his cancer. He realizes this after Mitch is persistent in his attempts to speak with him. Mitch does not contact his brother so that he may pity or dote on him because of his cancer, but because he wants to rekindle some aspect of the loving relationship they shared as children.

Summary
Taking Attendance
A few weeks following his reunion with Morrie, Mitch flies to London to cover the Wimbledon tennis tournament for the newspaper he works for. Typically, Mitch reads the British tabloids while he is in England, but on this visit, he remembers Morrie and his inevitable death. Mitch thinks of how many hours he has spent on mindless, meaningless endeavors, such as reading the tabloids, and instead wants to use his time as Morrie does, immersed in those endeavors that will enrich his life.
Mitch also remembers what Morrie had told him about rejecting a society's culture if it is not conducive to one's own development. Indeed, Morrie had developed his own culture, involving himself in discussion groups, friends, books, and dancing. Morrie had also created a project called Greenhouse, which provided the poor with mental health services. Unlike Mitch, Morrie had not wasted the precious years of his life. Mitch had developed his own culture of working himself to death, having dedicated his life to earning money. When he is knocked over by a cutthroat swarm of reporters chasing tennis player Andre Agassi and his girlfriend, actress Brooke Shields, Mitch is reminded of Morrie's adage that many people devote their lives to chasing the wrong thing. Mitch has been chasing money, and now realizes he must instead chase love and community, an endeavor that will give him purpose and meaning in his life.
When Mitch returns to Detroit, he learns that the newspaper union to which he belongs has gone on strike, which means his piece will not be published, nor will he be paid for the grueling work he had done while in London. Suddenly, Mitch is left without a job and without a purpose. Depressed, Mitch calls Morrie and arranges to meet with him the following Tuesday.
Mitch Flashes back to his sophomore year of college, when he takes two courses with Morrie as his professor. They meet outside of the classroom to talk, and share a relationship which Mitch has never before experienced with an adult. In talking, Mitch will divulge his problems and concerns to Morrie, and, in turn, Morrie will try to pass on some kind of life lesson. He warns Mitch that money is not the most important thing in the world, and that he must aspire to be "fully human." Morrie acts as a father figure to Mitch, as he cannot have such conversations with his own father, who would like him to be a lawyer, a profession Morrie hates. Instead, Morrie encourages Mitch to pursue his dream of being a famous musician and to continue practicing piano.
The First Tuesday: We Talk about the World
Mitch remembers how much Morrie loves food, and brings an arsenal of treats to his first Tuesday visit. Even in college, Mitch and Morrie had met routinely on Tuesdays, mostly to discuss Mitch's thesis, which Mitch says he wrote at Morrie's suggestion. They slip into conversation easily, as they did when Mitch was in college. When Morrie must go to the bathroom, his aid, Connie, helps him. He remembers telling Ted Koppel in his interview that he feared eventually needing someone else to wipe him after using the toilet, as it is the ultimate sign of dependency. He tells Mitch that this day is fast approaching. However, Morrie admits he is trying to enjoy the process of being a baby once more.
Morrie explains that he now feels an affinity with all people who suffer, even people he reads about in the news, such as the civilian victims of the war in Bosnia. He now cries even for those he has never met before; he admits he cries all the time. Mitch, however, never cries, but says that Morrie has been trying to get him to cry since his college days. Morrie tells Mitch that the most important thing to learn in life is how to give out love, and how to let it come in. He quotes Levine, saying, "Love is the only rational act." Mitch listens intently and takes heart, as he kisses Morrie when he leaves, an unusual display of affection on his part. When they part, Morrie asks Mitch if he will return next the Tuesday.

Again, Mitch flashes back to college, recalling an experiment Morrie had done with his sociology class at Brandeis. For fifteen minutes, Morrie does not say a word and the room is uncomfortably and totally silent. Morrie breaks the silence by asking what is going on in the room, and a discussion about the effect of silence on human relations follows. Mitch is quiet throughout the class, as he is not comfortable with sharing his feelings. Morrie notices Mitch's reluctance to participate, and pulls him aside. He tells Mitch that he reminds him of himself when he was young, as he was also reluctant to reveal his emotions.
Analysis
One of Morrie's most important lessons to Mitch is the idea of initiating one's own culture if the culture is not conducive to one's happiness and development. However, he seems confused as to how to create a culture of his own, as he has become so adjusted to buying into the modern social values Morrie essentially deems shallow and worthless. How, exactly, does one create his own culture? Mitch understands how Morrie has created his own culture which he has filled with friends, books, and dancing, and after arriving home from London, realizes that he must create his own culture and or wither away in one that has turned him cold and greedy.
Mitch mourns for Morrie's death, and, in a very real sense, his own. A part of Mitch has died since his college days, and he grows increasingly sad and nostalgic for that part of him with every Tuesday he talks with Morrie. Mitch feels as though he has wasted a part of his life, having been deadened to emotion and caring, and now wants to resuscitate the caring man he had been so that he will not waste any more "precious" years of his life, trudging through each day with a healthy body and a deadened spirit. Morrie however, suffers from just the opposite affliction, which, unlike Mitch's problem, is irreversible. Mitch is has the potential to revive his spirit and his kindness, and can redeem himself if he so chooses. Morrie, however, must inevitably suffer as a lively spirit trapped within a dying, withered body.
To make up for the years he has lived with a cold, deadened spirit, an emotional zombie on the run from love and after money, he acts on the remorse he feels for having wasted much of his life, and heeds Morrie's advice that he needs to live as a man who is "fully human." By "fully human," Morrie means a person who creates their own, however unselfish, culture in which they make love their first priority and money their last. To be fully human, in Morrie's terms, is to be kind, compassionate, and accepting — of others and and of oneself. In quoting Levin, who had said, "Love is the only rational act," Morrie means that love is the foremost human behavior that comes naturally to all, and to be "fully human" means not to suppress this urge to love. Love is so irrational, it could be argued, that it is, in itself, a rational act, even in all of its mystery.
Like a newly born baby, Morrie cries often and needs just as much attention as a child would from his mother. Throughout the book, a repeated connection is made between children and the elderly, as both are completely dependent on others for their own survival. Morrie tries to enjoy the process of being a child once more because he revels in the love and attention he now receives because of his condition which the reader will soon learn was almost completely absent from his childhood. This love and attention is also absent in the lives of many adults, as the culture's rules regarding affection between adults is drastically different — and drastically scarce — compared to those for children and the elderly.

The Second Tuesday: We Talk about Feeling Sorry for Yourself - The Third Tuesday: We Talk about Regrets

Summary
The Second Tuesday: We Talk about Feeling Sorry for Yourself
Mitch returns to spend a second Tuesday with Morrie, and this time decides not to buy a cell phone during the trip so that his colleagues cannot disturb his meaningful time with his old professor. The union at the newspaper he works for in Detroit continues to strike, and he is therefore without a job. The strike situation had grown nasty; picketers had been arrested and beaten, and replacement workers had been hired.
Once again, Mitch has brought Morrie bags of delicious food. Now, Morrie is confined to his study, and keeps a bell by his side to signal for assistance. Mitch asks Morrie if he feels sorry for himself. Morrie replies that at times, he does, usually in the mornings. He mourns for his body and the control that he has lost, and cries if he needs to. Afterwards, however, Morrie moves on and recognizes how lucky he is to have time to say goodbye to his loved ones before he dies. He consciously limits the amount of time he spends pitying himself, as he knows he must enjoy the little life he has left. Mitch is astounded that Morrie has called himself lucky when he must endure such suffering.
While Morrie is in the bathroom with his aide Connie, who must help him, Mitch looks through a Boston newspaper and reads disturbing news about murder and hatred. He puts the paper down when Morrie returns from the bathroom, and offers to help him back into his recliner, which he does. Holding Morrie in his arms, Mitch is moved in a way he cannot describe, only to say that he can feel the "seeds of death inside his shriveling frame." It is then that Mitch realizes that his time with Morrie is running out, and that he must do something about it.
In a flashback to his junior year of college, 1978, Mitch recalls the unusual "Group Process" class he took with Morrie. The class, which Mitch labels the "touchy-feely class," studies how the group of students interact with one another. On a typical day, one person will end up crying. In one exercise, the students test one another's trust and reliability by doing trust falls; one student will fall straight backwards and must rely on another student to catch them. Not one student can trust another until one girl falls without flinching. Morrie notes that the girl had closed her eyes, and says that this exercise serves as a metaphor for the secret to trust in relationships; one must sometimes trust blindly, relying only on what they feel to guide them in their decision-making.
The Third Tuesday: We Talk about Regrets
Again, Mitch arrives the following Tuesday with bags of food. This time, he has brought a tape recorder, as well. At first, Mitch feels that the tape recorder is intrusive and worries that it will make Morrie uncomfortable. But Morrie welcomes it, and insists that he wants Mitch to hear his story. Mitch recognizes that using the tape recorder is also an attempt to capture a remnant of Morrie to remember him by after his death. He wonders if Morrie has had any regrets since learning that he is dying. Morrie responds with a lesson on how the culture doesn't encourage people to think about death and regrets until they are nearing their dying day. While they are living, he says, they are concerned about egotistical things, but they should constantly stand back and assess their life to determine what is there and what is missing from it. Morrie mentions that often, people need others to push them in this particular direction, and Mitch realizes that Morrie is this person, his teacher.
Mitch resolves to be the best student he can be. On the plane ride back to Detroit, he makes a list of common issues and questions about life and relationships that he plans to broach with Morrie. All of the questions he wants to pose seem to have no clear answers. He brings the list with him when he returns to Boston for his fourth visit with Morrie. It is a sweltering hot day in Boston, and the air conditioning is not working in the airport. Mitch notes that everyone in the airport terminal looks as though they could kill someone.

At the start of his senior year of college, Morrie had suggested to Mitch that he try an honors thesis. They discuss the possibility, and finally decide that Mitch will write a thesis on how America has adopted sports as a religion. By the spring, Mitch has completed the thesis, and Morrie congratulates him. He presents Mitch with the possibility of graduate school, which makes Mitch recognize that familiar "tension of opposites," as he wants to leave school, but is afraid to.
Analysis
Mitch's gradual transformation of character, from a man driven by money to a man driven by love, is evident when he decides not to buy a cell phone on his second trip to visit Morrie. This is Mitch's first step towards creating his own loving, accepting, and forgiving culture. Morrie's self-created culture enables him to feel gratitude for his slow painful death, which, superficially, seems odd and outrageous. But given a deeper look, Morrie's gratitude is sensible. Unlike many others who have died, such as both of Morrie's parents, he has the opportunity to repent for the words and actions he regrets, and is able to express love and say goodbye to those he values most dearly in his dwindling life. Thus, Morrie does not feel lucky because he is suffering and will be martyred, but because he is aware of the little time he has left to do what he feels he needs to before it is too late.
Mitch, for a long time, is in denial that Morrie is even dying, and is only honest with himself about Morrie's impending departure when he helps him back into his chair and feels the "seeds of death inside of his shriveling frame" as he holds his limp body in his arms. The image of seeds and plants, like the pink hibiscus in Morrie's study, growing and dying as people do, recurs throughout the book. These "seeds of death" that Mitch feels are inside of Morrie serve as a symbolic indication that Morrie is about to move on to something new; seedlings bring new life, and indeed, Morrie is about to embark on a leg of life's journey that he has not yet set foot in.
Mitch notices evil and the potential for evil in the media and in his everyday surroundings, as he does when he reads about the murder and hatred in the newspaper, and when he notices the irritation on the faces of the people at the airport, who are so severely agitated by the heat, they look ready to kill. These passages in Tuesdays With Morrie string together to create a stark contrast between the popular social culture, which is inherently evil and driven by greed, and the invented culture that Morrie adheres to and that Mitch is slowly adopting, which is founded on love, civility, and understanding.
When Morrie uses the trust fall exercise as a metaphor for trust in relationships, he means to teach his students that trustworthiness is a mutual quality shared by both partners. Morrie teaches the students that trust is blind; one can only trust another based on an instinctive feeling, not by any rational judgment or method of thinking. To trust someone is to close your eyes and fall back, hoping that the person your instincts have told you is trustworthy will catch you and keep you from harm. Morrie's lesson simplifies the complicated issue of trust and trustworthiness into an easily digestible activity for the students to learn from, as his teaching caters more to life lessons than the academic.

The Fourth Tuesday: We Talk about Death

Summary
The Fourth Tuesday: We Talk about Death
Morrie tells Mitch that everyone is aware that they will eventually die, though no one actually believes it. Mitch notes that Morrie is in a business-like mood on this Tuesday, as he scribbles notes in his now undecipherable handwriting. In Detroit, the newspaper strikes continue, and Mitch remains out of work. Once again, he notes the disgustingly violent news stories he has heard and read about, namely the O.J. Simpson murder trial. In Morrie's office, however, news events are inconsequential, and they focus on more meaningful subjects.
Morrie is now somewhat dependent on an oxygen machine to breathe. Mitch asks him how one can be prepared to die. Morrie responds with a Buddhist philosophy that every day, one must ask the bird on his shoulder if that day is the day he will die. Morrie adopts values and parables from many different religions; described by Mitch as a "religious mutt," Morrie had been born into Judaism, but turned agnostic during his teen years. Morrie reveals that it is only once a person knows how to die that he can then know how to live. He repeats this idea for reinforcement, and Mitch asks him if he had considered death before contracting ALS. Morrie responds that he had not thought very much about death before his illness; in fact, he had once vowed to a friend that he would be "the healthiest old man" his friend had ever met.
The men talk about why facing the reality of death is so difficult for most people. Morrie says that realizing the imminence of death is realizing what is essential, thus you see your life in an entirely different light. Morrie also tells Mitch that if he accepts death, he may not be as ambitious as he is now, as he will see that he must spend time on what is meaningful to him, and not working to make money. Morrie urges Mitch to consider further "spiritual development," and concedes that he is not exactly sure what that phrase means, though he is certain that people are too involved in material goods and their own egotism. Morrie notes that he appreciates what he sees from his window, though he is unable to go outside and enjoy it.
Morrie continues to receive letters from the viewers who had seen his interview with Ted Koppel on "Nightline." He dictates responses to his friends and family, and one afternoon while he is with his sons, Rob and Jon, responds to a note from a woman named Nancy who had lost her mother to ALS and says she sympathizes with Morrie for his suffering. Morrie dictates a kind reply, saying that he hopes she can find "healing power" in grieving as he has. Another woman, Jane, had written Morrie a letter in which she named him a prophet. He thanks her graciously, though he does not agree that he is of such revered status. In another letter, a man from England asks Morrie for help in contacting his dead mother. There is also a four-page letter from a former graduate student who, after graduating, experienced a murder-suicide and three still-born births. Her mother had died of ALS, and she fears that she will also develop the disease. Morrie is unsure of how to answer her. Rob suggests they simply tell her thank you for having written such a long letter. It is clear that Morrie is happy to have his sons with him.
Mitch thinks it is significant that Morrie is suffering from a disease named after an athlete, Lou Gehrig. Morrie urges Mitch to do his imitation of Gehrig giving his farewell speech in which he says that he is the "luckiest man in the world." Morrie, however doesn't feel quite the same way.
Analysis
The O.J. Simpson murder trial is an issue which appears repeatedly throughout the book. Mitch uses the trial as a tool to portray the popular, media-saturated culture as a source of meaninglessness, as he does when he sees the murderous potential on the faces of the people at the airport, or reads about murder and other crimes in the newspaper. These crimes that taint the popular culture are used, in large part, to contrast the good of Morrie's self-created culture against the evil of the mainstream social culture, whose values are entrenched in meaningless and wasteful endeavors, such as watching television and reading tabloid gossip. Why, then, if Morrie loathes the media and the popular culture, does he agree to do multiple interviews with Ted Koppel for "Nightline"? Because only "Nightline" can provide him with the means to reach millions of people, so that he may share his story and influence their lives with his life lessons. It seems that Morrie must use the popular culture he condemns as a vehicle to spread his philosophy of a self-created culture.

Mitch refers to Morrie as a "religious mutt" because he has created his own religion from a variety of different religious philosophies. The Buddhist philosophy Morrie shares about asking the bird on his shoulder if today is the day he will die serves as a metaphor for his awareness that he may die at any moment. The bird itself is symbolic of Morrie's consciousness that his death is fast approaching, and his readiness to accept it when it does arrive. His lesson, however, pertains more to Mitch than to himself. In telling the parable, he wants Mitch to realize that this bird is on everyone's shoulder at every moment of their lives, despite how young or old they may be. When he tells Mitch that one must know how to die before one can know how to live, he means that one must accept the possibility of one's own death before he can truly appreciate what he has on earth, as the sobering awareness that one day, it will all be out of reach, prompts the urge to appreciate and value what one can have only for a limited period of time, and to use every moment of that time doing something that one will not regret when the bird sings its last note.
When Morrie tells Mitch that he may not be as professionally ambitious as he is if he were aware and accepting of his own death, he is continuing with his idea of time as a precious, irreplaceable gift. What Morrie means by this is not that Mitch should be lazy, but that he should reassess his priorities. He assumes that if Mitch were to truly and completely realize that his will someday die, he would surely rearrange his values system and realize that dedicating his time to love, family, and friends is far more important than spending his life at work, earning money that does not fulfill him. Mitch feels a void in his life which he stuffs with dollar bills, believing that material wealth his what he wants and needs. But Morrie sees through Mitch's superficial desire, and knows that the only salve for Mitch's emotional void is love and friendship.

The Fifth Tuesday: We Talk about Family
It is September, back to school week, and for the first time in thirty-five years, Morrie is not returning to teach. Mitch notes that Morrie's clothes are progressively looser-fitting, as he is rapidly losing muscle and body mass. His shirts sag so much that Mitch must continuously adjust Morrie's microphone. Morrie enjoys this physical closeness, as he now feels a stronger need for affection than ever. He tells Mitch that one's family is one's foundation, as the love and caring that a family giv es is supremely valuable. He then quotes Auden, his favorite poet, who said, "Love or perish." Mitch writes this down. Friends, Morrie urges, are not the same as having family. They can be there sometimes, but family is there constantly.
As he thinks of Morrie and his wife and children, Mitch wonders if he would feel an unbearable emptiness if he were dying and had no children of his own. Morrie tells him that he is never one to dictate whether someone should or should not have a child; a ll he says is that there is no experience like having children. He says that although he is ecstatic at having raised children, he is pained by the thought of their living on without him.
Morrie asks Mitch about his own family, who he had met at his college graduation. Mitch reveals that he has an older sister and a younger brother. At the thought of his older brother, Mitch is quiet. He reveals that his brother, who had moved to Europe sh ortly after his graduation from high school, has estranged himself from the family, as he does not want any help from them in his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Growing up, Mitch had been the good boy in the family, and his brother has been bad. Despite his debauchery, his brother had remained the family favorite. Mitch often feels overly conservative in the presence of his brother, who is funny and charming. Sin ce his uncle's death, Mitch had been convinced that he would die a similarly untimely death from disease, and readied himself for cancer. However, the cancer had not struck Mitch; instead, it had struck his brother. Mitch's brother had continually refused help from the family, as he wanted to grapple with the cancer on his own. Each time Mitch had called his brother's home in Spain and had heard the message on his answering machine, spoken in Spanish, it had served as a disheartening reminder of the great distance between them.
In a flashback to his childhood, Mitch recalls going sledding with his brother. They had narrowly escaped being run over by a car, and after their initial fear and shock has subsided, and they are safe, they swell with pride and feel ready to risk their l ives once more.
The Sixth Tuesday: We Talk about Emotions
Upon his arrival at Morrie's house, Mitch is greeted not by Connie as he usually is, but by Charlotte, Morrie's wife. In keeping with Morrie's wishes, Charlotte has kept her job as a professor at M.I.T., and Mitch is surprised to find her at home. She tells Mitch that Morrie isn't having a good day, and also admits that he can no longer eat the food that Mitch brings him each week, as he can only ingest soft food and liquids. Morrie hadn't told him, as he hadn't wanted to hurt Mitch's feelings. Ch arlotte seems despondent, and Mitch attributes her distant look to her exhaustion, as she often is up throughout the night with Morrie when he cannot sleep. Morrie's condition had been decreasing rapidly, and now there are home health care workers working 24-hour shifts to care for him. Mitch notices the many pill bottles that line the kitchen table.

Morrie is now coughing more violently than ever and struggles for breath as he talks with Mitch. He explains to Mitch that he is consciously "detaching himself from the experience," and explains the Buddhist philosophy that one should not cling to things because everything that exists is impermanent. Mitch questions emotional detachment, and Morrie reveals that detachment does not mean ignoring an experience, but immersing yourself in it. By experiencing wholly, one is able to let go, to detach. Morrie te lls Mitch that he must detach during his most frightening moments, like when his chest seizes up and he is unable to breathe. It is then that he must step outside of himself and accept that he could die at any moment.
After his explanation of detachment, Morrie suffers a violent coughing fit. Mitch slaps him on the back until he recuperates. Morrie reveals that he wants to die in peace and serenity, unlike the fit he had just suffered. Detachment, he says, brings him s erenity during such a frightening episode. Mitch asks Morrie not to go just yet, and Morrie concedes, saying that they still have much work to do. Morrie tells Mitch that if he could be reincarnated, he would come back to earth as a gazelle, because they are "graceful and fast." Initially, Mitch thinks this is a strange choice, but understands when he studies Morrie's withering frame.
Analysis
In addition to his teachings on cultural rejection and development, Morrie's most important lesson is that love is essential for fulfillment and happiness. He summarizes this lesson when he recites the Auden quote, "Love or perish." Morrie, who is known for his belief aphorisms such as this, means to say that to survive, people need other people who they can give love to, and who will love them back. Morrie is considers himself fortunate because he has loved ones, including Mitch, who care for them with as much love as he would show them, were they ill. The distinction that Morrie makes between friends and family is understandable. Flesh and blood, he says, are there for you always, as you are intrinsically tied to them. Friends, he claims, are not as st able, not as secure in their love. Morrie also believes that only family can provide a solid foundation for an individual to grow from, and implies that without this solid basis, one can never know love.
However, Morrie's lessons are volatile with claims that could easily be argued against, such as this one in particular. Can friends not create a family? And can children who are raised in abusive situations not know love in healthy adult relationships? Morrie's laws of love and life may apply to him personally, though not necessarily to all of his readers. Yet another arguable issue that arises in Tuesdays With Morrie is the contradictory presentation of creating one's own culture. If Morrie is e ncouraging Mitch to create a culture all his own, why is it that he tries to influence it with his own values? Also contradictory is Morrie's statement regarding parenting children. He mentions that he is never one to preach that a person should or shoul d not have a child, then insinuates that to forfeit parenting is to forfeit some essential aspect of life.
In advising Mitch that he should begin "detaching" himself from his experiences, Morrie does not intend for him to stop feeling or experiencing. Instead, he wants for Mitch to realize that time is fleeting, as is life itself, a general message Morrie send s throughout the entirety of the book. Morrie detaches during his frightening coughing episodes so that he may accept the impermanence of his life, and embrace his death, which he knows may come at any moment. In detaching from oneself, Morrie means that one can step out of tangible surroundings and into one's own state of consciousness, namely for the sake of gaining perspective and composure in a stressful situation. Morrie's openness to reincarnation is revealing also of his attitude towards the afterl ife; he does not know what it holds for him, but is willing to accept his fate, whatever it may hold. The bottles of medication that line the kitchen table serve as foreboding symbols of Morrie's rapid deterioration, and of his fast-approaching death.

The Seventh Tuesday: We Talk about the Fear of Aging

Summary
The Professor, Part Two
One of Morrie's first jobs after earning his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago had been as a researcher in a private mental hospital outside of Washington, D.C. He had been given a grant to research the patients and their treatments, which was a gr ound breaking concept then, in the early 1950's. Every day, one female patient would lie face-down on the floor in the hallway and remain there for hours at a time. Morrie had been saddened by the sight of her, and began sitting on the floor beside her, a lthough he was not supposed to interact on such an intimate level with the patients. Morrie eventually coaxed the woman to sit up and return to her room, as all she truly wanted was a bit of attention, which he gave to her.
Morrie came to befriend many of the patients. One woman was notorious for her nasty behavior. She spit at everyone but Morrie, who she called her friend. When she had run away, Morrie had been asked to help lead her back to the hospital. When he and the o ther staff members had found her hiding in a nearby store, she had accused Morrie of betraying her, as he has taken the side of her "jailers." While he had been employed at the hospital, Morrie had noticed that many of the patients had come from very wea lthy families, though their wealth had not contributed whatsoever to their happiness.
At Brandeis University, Morrie had taught many student radicals, advocates of the 1960's cultural revolution. The sociology faculty, including Morrie, had sympathized with these students, and took a very liberal stance. When they had learned that male stu dents who did not maintain a certain grade point average would be drafted, they had bravely decided to give them all A's. Morrie had also gotten personally involved in the revolution. He had traveled to Washington D.C. to protest with students.
At one point, a group of black Brandeis students had claimed one of the campus halls as their own by draping a banner over it that read: "Malcolm X University." This particular hall, Ford Hall, held the university chemistry labs, and much of the adminis tration had feared that the students were concocting bombs. The battle between the students and the university lasted for weeks, and only ended when, one day, Morrie was walking past Ford Hall and a former student of his called to him from the building. M orrie climbed inside through the window, and emerged an hour later with a list of the protester's demands, which he took to the university president. Shortly afterwards, the situation was resolved.
Mitch researches how different cultures view death. He admires the theory of a tribe in the North American Arctic who believe that there is a miniature self within every creature, so that when the larger creature dies, the miniature lives on, whether it immediately takes the form of an infant or takes temporary refuge in the sky and waits for the moon to return it to earth.
The Seventh Tuesday We Talk about the Fear of Aging
Morrie had told Ted Koppel in his first interview that the thing he feared most about his disease was the probability that one day, someone else would have to wipe him after going to the bathroom. Now, his worst fear has come true. Morrie's aide, Co nnie, must now do it for him, and he sees this as a complete surrender to the disease. He is now dependent on others for nearly all of his needs. Once again, Morrie tells Mitch that despite the difficulties of dependency, he is trying to enjoy being a c hild for a second time. He repeats that we should reject culture if we don't find it conducive to our needs, and again tells Mitch that we need to be loved as we are when we are babies, constantly being held and rocked by our mothers. Mitch notes that at 78 years old, Morrie is "giving as an adult and taking as a child."

On his ride to Morrie's house in West Newton from Boston's Logan airport, Mitch notices the beautiful, young people on every billboard he passes. As he nears forty, Mitch is already feeling "over the hill," and tries frantically to stay youthful, working out obsessively, eating healthy foods, and checking his hairline daily. Morrie tells him that the happiness of youth is a farce, as not only do young people suffer very real miseries, but they do not have the wisdom of age to deal with them. He says that he has never feared aging; he embraces it. He also tells Mitch that, in old age, to wish for youth indicates an unfulfilled life, and that to fight age is fight a hopeless battle, because aging and death are inevitable, and part of life.
Mitch asks Morrie how he keeps from envying him and his youth. Morrie replies that it is "impossible" for him not to envy young people, but the point of aging is to accept your age at that moment; Morrie has already lived through his thirties, now it is M itch's turn. Morrie has lived through every age up to his own, and he is therefore a part of each of them. How, he asks Mitch, can he be envious of his age when he has already lived through it?
Analysis
In the second installment of The Professor, Morrie is portrayed as a having been exceptionally liberal for his time and for his age. The first indication that Morrie is ahead of the popular culture is his acceptance of the researching position at the ment al institution, where, as a further showing of his liberal qualities, breaks the rules and befriends the most difficult patients, each of whom respond to Morrie more than they do their doctors and psychiatrists. Morrie's so-called radical values are also exemplified by his unusually intimate relationship with his students, Mitch included. Like the students who protest on Washington D.C., and those who took over Ford Hall to fight racism at the university, Morrie believes in the progression of culture. The culture he has created for himself does not adhere to the popular rules he protests against, and he fights to change popular social values when the do not agree with his own. Morrie continues to be very progressively-minded even in his old age, and often reminds Mitch that he and everyone else is constantly changing form; his self is in continuous transition, despite his age. It is never too late, he says, to change. Morrie applies this belief to the culture that surrounds him, and fights to alter it if the cause is one worth his dedication.
Morrie does not harbor jealousy for Mitch and his youth because he has already been a young man. He is curious about the new frontiers he must face in his old age, and does not wish to return to youth. He does not want to relive the past, but instead want s to experience the future, even if that future is very short. Morrie mentions that to wish for youth is to admit to an unfulfilled life. This statement implies that Morrie has lived a full life, and feels satisfied with the experiences he has had through out his lifetime.
At the close of nearly every chapter, Mitch reflects on an experience of his that somehow relates back to his friendship with Morrie. He often flashes back to his days at Brandeis, a conversation he has shared with Morrie, or, as in this Seventh Tuesday, describes the values and practices of a culture he has researched. Mitch has taken to researching various cultures since his reunion with Morrie, as his professor has stressed that he create a culture all his own, and to reject any part of the popular cul ture that does not cooperate with his own values.
At the end of this particular chapter, Mitch describes a tribe in the Arctic who see birth and death as being interconnected and cyclic, almost as a form of alternative reincarnation. The smaller creature with in the large is what popular culture views as the soul within the body. Like the tribe in the Arctic, popular culture also believes that the soul lives on after death. This idea of living on after death is present throughout much of Tuesdays With Morrie, especially as Morrie's dying day grows nearer. Also prevalent is the idea of life and death as part of a larger cycle, as alluded to in the repeated indirect comparison of Morrie to the pink hibiscus plant, and in the parable he tells on the thirteenth Tuesday, about the waves in the ocean cr ashing, dying, then returning to their place as a small part of a larger body.

The Eight Tuesday: We Talk about Money
Mitch shows Morrie a quote by billionaire Ted Turner that he has found in the newspaper which reads, "I don't want my tombstone to read, 'I never owned a network.'" The men laugh, and Mitch notices the pink hibiscus plant on Morrie's window sill. Morrie repeats his lesson that we should not put value on material things, as it will lead to disillusionment and unfulfillment.

Today is a good day for Morrie, as a local a capella group has come by the night before to give a private performance for him. Morrie had always loved music, but since his illness, it has had an even more profound effect on him. He is usually moved to tears when listening to music he finds especially beautiful. It is simple pleasures such as the a capella group's visit that Morrie revels in, not money and material wealth as is the accepted cultural norm. In a sense, he says, the culture has brainwashed us into believing that we can replace love with money, and we try, only to be left unsatisfied and hungry. Mitch notes that after Morrie had learned of his illness, he had lost all interest in material goods, and had bought nothing new since. Despite his dwindling funds, Mitch thinks that Morrie's house is filled with enormous wealth, as it is beautified by objects, but by love.
Morrie urges Mitch to give of himself, which is more meaningful than giving money. He advises him to devote himself to loving and giving generously to his community, possibly by volunteering at a local senior center. Mitch is now realizing that, after all of his years spent driven by financial success, he cannot find happiness in money and professional power.
The Ninth Tuesday: We Talk about How Love Goes On
The newspaper strikes at Mitch's former workplace continue. The O.J. Simpson murder trial is winding to a close and has created a frenzied media circus. Mitch reveals that he has been thinking of his younger brother often, and has tried to call him at home in Spain. He had left messages letting him know that he wanted to talk to him, and had received a brief message in reply a few weeks later in which his brother assured him that everything was okay, but that he did not want to talk about his cancer.
Morrie's condition has deteriorated considerably. He now must urinate through a catheter, and can barely move his own head. He has the ability to feel pain in his limbs, but cannot move them. Morrie spends his days resting on the chair in his study, and relays his latest aphorism, "When you're in bed, you're dead." "Nightline" has called to schedule a third follow-up interview with Morrie, though they would like to wait until Morrie's condition has worsened a bit more, which bothers Mitch.
Analysis
With the onset of his eighth Tuesday with Morrie, Mitch is beginning to truly understand that love is of greater value than material goods. Morrie has continually told Mitch that love for family and friends is more important than career and money, and that greed for material wealth will exacerbate a void that only love and relationships can fill. Mitch has listened intently to Morrie's lessons on love versus money, but it is not until this particular conversation that Mitch sees the wealth that surrounds Morrie. Despite his modest home, Mitch suddenly realizes Morrie's immense wealth, as he is surrounded by those who love and care for him during his most desperate time of need.
When Mitch reads the quote by billionaire media mogul Ted Turner, he sees a bit of Turner's greediness in himself, and is frightened by it. When Turner says that he does not want his "tombstone to read, 'I never owned a network," he gives the dual impression that he does not want to be remembered purely for his professional shortcomings. This idea of how one is remembered after death one of the books main concerns. Morrie gives less thought to his professional career than Turner, of course, and focuses on how he has touched people personally, including his students. In a later chapter, Mitch asks Morrie if he fears being forgotten after he dies. Morrie replies that he has no fear of being forgotten, as he is alive in the memory of those who love him. The Turner quote is used to reveal Morrie's connection between love and staying alive in the memory of others.
Turner's appearance in the book also contributes to the array of media-related images that appear throughout Tuesdays With Morrie. The media is unmistakably portrayed as a dual purveyor of evil and meaninglessness, exemplified by the many newspaper articles Mitch reads about recent murders and hatred crimes, and by the O.J. Simpson murder trial, which has created a frenzied circus media and public debate, with journalists feeding on it like vultures would a meaty carcass.
Also vital to the portrayal of the media in the book is Mitch's occupation as a long-time journalist. Throughout his time with Morrie, his employer continues to strike, and he remains out of a job. While he had been working, Mitch had been miserable, and had dedicated his life to his "meaningless" work, reporting on sporting events and chasing down celebrities. Now, however, Mitch has had the time to restore meaning to his life, rekindling loving relationships and create his own culture, as Morrie has instructed him to do. The media is also a major influence on the values system dictated by popular culture, which Morrie rejects. Even the famous interviewer Ted Koppel, who Morrie befriends, is portrayed as somewhat heartless in The Ninth Tuesday, when his corporation calls Morrie to ask him for another interview to be scheduled only when Morrie's health is noticeably deteriorated.

The Tenth Tuesday: We Talk about Marriage
Morrie can no longer eat any of the food Mitch brings him, as he is restricted to a diet of liquids. His condition is drastically worse, as the disease has reached his lungs, which he had always said would mark his death. He is now reliant on an oxygen tank, and suffers violent, hour-long coughing spells, each a serious threat to his life.

Mitch brings his wife, Janine, with him to meet Morrie. Morrie had been asking to meet Janine since his first meetings with Mitch. One night, Morrie had been on the phone with Mitch, and he had asked to speak to Janine. Janine had taken the phone and conversed with Morrie as if they had been friends for many years, though they had never spoken before. Mitch thought that had he been put in her position, forced to speak on the phone with a complete stranger, he would have refused to take the call. When Janine had finished her conversation with Morrie, she announced that she would be joining Mitch on his next trip to Boston to meet his professor.
Morrie, Mitch reports, is a harmless flirt, and seems to have tapped new energy with Janine by his side. Janine is originally from Detroit, and Morrie tells a "funny story" about his time teaching at a university there. On occasion, he and the other sociology professors would congregate to play a game of poker. One of the other professors was a surgeon, and he had invited Morrie to join him at work to watch him perform a surgery. Morrie had gone to see the surgery, but was nauseated by the sight of blood. Just as he had felt ready to faint, one of the nurses mistook him for a doctor, and had asked if he was feeling well. Morrie had yelled at the nurse that he was not a doctor, and had stormed out of the room feeling sick.
Janine is a professional singer, and performs a song form Morrie when he asks her to, though she does not normally sing upon request. When she has finished singing, Morrie is so moved, he is crying. Afterwards, Morrie lectures Mitch and Janine on the how the culture of "kids today" makes "their generation" too selfish to commit to a loving relationship. Morrie and his wife, Charlotte, have been married for forty-four years. The only time Morrie will not reveal a personal anecdote is when he fears he may violate Charlotte's privacy. He says that marriage is a test; in it, you learn who you are, who the other person is, and how you can or cannot make the relationship work. Similar values, he says, are essential for partners to share, the greatest of which is the importance of the marriage itself. He advocates marriage as "a very important thing to do," and preaches that those who do not try it will miss out on a major life experience. Later, Mitch asks Morrie if he recalls the Book of Job from the Bible, the parable about a good man who God makes suffer only to test his religious faith. Morrie tells Mitch that in his opinion, God "overdid it."
The Eleventh Tuesday: We Talk about Our Culture
Morrie's disease is spreading to his lungs, and soon he will die of suffocation. His physical therapist instructs Mitch on how to free the poison in Morrie's lungs through pounding and massage. Mitch jokes that the blows are revenge for the B grade Morrie had given him in college.
Mitch is now less self-conscious and less embarrassed about helping Morrie. Now, he wants to observe and learn how to help him. Even Morrie is less embarrassed by his own physical handicaps, such as not being able to go to the bathroom without assistance. He reports that he and Morrie now hold hands regularly. Morrie complains that the culture deems that natural physical need is socially embarrassing, and thus we must reject it. Mitch asks him why he had not moved to a place with a less selfish culture. Morrie tells him that every culture has its own problems, thus he has created his own. The biggest problem with most cultures, he says, is its inability to visualize and utilize its potential. Morrie advises that we must "invest in people," as we need others not only at the very beginning and very end of our lives, but during our middle years, as well.
Later that day, Connie and Mitch watch the O.J. Simpson murder trial verdict on television. Simpson is found not guilty, and Connie is appalled. Mitch notes the racial division in the response to the verdict: blacks celebrate, whites mourn.
Mitch flashes back to a basketball game held in the Brandeis University gymnasium in 1979. The team is doing well and chants, "We're number one!" Morrie stands and shouts, "What's wrong with being number two?" The students fall silent.
Analysis
Since his second visit, Mitch has brought Morrie delicious food to eat each time he arrives, as he remember's his professor's passion for food. Mitch had brought the food because he believed it was the only thing he could give to Morrie that would ameliorate his pain. Now that Morrie can no longer eat solid food, Mitch again feels helpless as he did when his favorite uncle died, as he is powerless against Morrie's disease and powerless to stop him from dying. Now, he feels he cannot even bring him happiness by buying him food each week. However, on his eleventh Tuesday with Morrie, Mitch begins to understand how he can provide for Morrie, even without the gift of good food. It is on this Tuesday that Mitch sheds his embarrassment at Morrie's physical shortcomings, and instead of simply watching Morrie's aides help him with his routine, as he usually does, Mitch offers to involve himself, and does, taking lessons from Morrie's physical therapist on how to free the deadly poison from his professor's lungs.
But the gift that Mitch gives to Morrie is intangible. The gift Mitch gives to Morrie is his friendship and his time. Morrie appreciates Mitch not because he brings him good food to eat each week, but because he sits with him, listening for hours to his life stories and soaking up the lessons he teaches to him. The greatest gift Mitch gives to Morrie is the book itself, what they refer to as their 'last thesis' together. Morrie wants Mitch to relay his story and his lessons to the largest audience possible, and Mitch concedes, tape recording every meeting and listening intently to all Morrie has to teach him.
Mitch also provides Morrie with the gift of physical comfort, which Morrie now needs as much as a small baby would from its mother. Morrie thrives on physical affection in part because he was so deprived of it as a boy, but namely because in losing his independence, he has gradually metamorphosed into a child. He is saddened by popular culture's dismissal of physical affection as a form of nurturing that is necessary only during childhood because he knows from experience that it is necessary throughout all stages of life, for children, for adults, and for the elderly.
This idea that Morrie is growing younger as his condition worsens supports his belief in an ever-changing self. Morrie believes that every individual, regardless of age, undergoes infinite transformation, and is aware of the mental, spiritual, and physical changes he has experienced since learning of his illness. Mitch, too, is gradually becoming more aware of the changes he is making in his own life. When Janine agrees to speak with Morrie, who she has never spoken with before, Mitch realizes that, unlike his wife, he would have refused such a call from a stranger, and seems to reassess his behavior, given the easy conversation between Janine and Morrie. Mitch is indeed in a heightened state of self-reassessment and transition, instilled and encouraged by Morrie.

Summary
The Audiovisual, Part Three
The "Nightline" television crew, including Ted Koppel, arrives at Morrie's house in West Newton, MA for their third and final interview, which Mitch notes is more like a solemn farewell. Morrie isn't confident that he will be able to give the interview, as he now has trouble breathing and speaking. When Morrie tells Koppel about his reservations, Koppel is understanding, as he now calls Morrie a "friend." When Koppel had first been reunited with Morrie, he had kissed him. Ultimately, Morrie does do the interview, during which he wears the same shirt he had worn the day before. He now changes his clothes only every other day. This third interview, unlike the previous two, is conducted in Morrie's study, as he is now confined to his chair.

In the interview, Morrie explains that he is gradually letting go of the outside world. He tells Koppel that he admires the courage and perseverance of ALS victims such as the famous physicist and author Stephen Hawking, who has a breathing hole in his throat and speaks through a computer synthesizer. Morrie, however, does not want to live this way. He would instead like to die in serenity, and relays his newest aphorism, "Don't let go too soon, but don't hang on too long." Afterwards, he reiterates that love and compassion are life's most essential lessons, and tells Koppel that his disease may be attacking his body, but he will not allow it to attack his spirit. At this, Koppel is near tears. In the last segment of the interview, Morrie divulges that he has been "bargaining with Him up there," the first time Mitch has heard him admit that he talks to God.
The Twelfth Tuesday: We Talk about Forgiveness
As Mitch massages Morrie's aching feet, they discuss the pointlessness of vengeance and the importance of forgiveness. Morrie admits his regret for past bouts of pride and vanity, and Mitch wonders if he feels the need to apologize before he dies. With that, Morrie points to a bronze sculpture in the corner of his study. It is a bust replica of Morrie that had been sculpted by his former friend Norman thirty years before. He and Norman had been close friends until Norman had moved to Chicago. Shortly after he had moved, Charlotte was due to undergo a serious surgery, and Morrie was offended that his old friend, who knew of the upcoming surgery, never called to wish her well or show his support. Years later, Norman made repeated attempts at reconciliation, but Morrie had refused. Norman had died of cancer only a short time ago, and now Morrie regrets never accepting his apology and reconciling. He begins to cry as he talks about his old friend.
Morrie stresses that is is vital to forgive oneself, just as it is vital to forgive others. Once again, he calls himself "lucky" for having the time to forgive himself and others while he is dying. Mitch notices that the hibiscus plant by the window is "still holding on, small but firm." Morrie confides that if he could have had another son, he would have wanted it to be Mitch. Upon hearing this, Mitch fears that accepting Morrie's statement will betray his own father. Though, when he sees Morrie crying, he knows that there is no betrayal in such a loving moment, and that his fear lies in saying good-bye.
Morrie has chosen to be buried on a hill, beneath a tree, by a pond. He tells Mitch that it is a very serene location, and asks him if he will come and talk to him, tell him his problems, there on Tuesdays, because they are "Tuesday people." Mitch tells him that it will not be the same, as he will not be able to answer back. Morrie assures him that even after he is dead, he will continue to listen to Mitch.
Analysis
Morrie's talent for overcoming communication barriers is shown by his relationship with Ted Koppel. Morrie, a man of modest means, is able not only to befriend Koppel, one of the nation's most famous newsmen, but to move him almost to tears. Koppel has transitioned from a man who, in Morrie's view, was merely a narcissistic television personality, to a caring friend who kisses Morrie upon their reunion. In this way, Morrie has an uncanny ability to communicate and share his love with everyone around him, regardless of the drastic difference in their social social stature.
The progression of the friendship between Koppel and Morrie is steady from their first meeting until their last, as is evident in Koppel's affection towards him and expression emotion at his story. Morrie's friendship with Koppel can be attributed to Morrie's sheer honesty; from their very first meeting, Morrie refuses to put on airs, or even dress differently for Koppel's visit, although his friends and family are bent on impressing him. Immediately, upon their first meeting, Morrie breaks Koppel down to find the essence of his humanness, as Morrie has no use for the distinction popular culture makes between the famous man and the man who works ten hour days to earn his bread. It is this humanness that Morrie uses to communicate with Mitch, as he had his other students, as well.
On the twelfth Tuesday, Morrie drops recognizable hints that his dying day is approaching. When Morrie explains that he is gradually letting go of the outside world, he is admitting that he has come to grips with his so-called 'death sentence.' He would like to die in peace and serenity, not in struggle or fear, and can only do this in his gradual release of life, as each small piece he frees himself from brings him closer to acceptance of death, both his own and the idea of it, which will ultimately allow him to die the peaceful death he so desires. Morrie's idea of slowly 'letting go' of the outside world correlates with the idea he spoke of earlier with Mitch about the Buddhist belief in detachment. Gradually, as he grows closer to death by the day, Morrie is detaching himself from his life, and immersing himself in acceptance and faith that death will only bring new life.
This theory of detachment also applies to Morrie's latest aphorism, "Don't let go too soon, but don't hang on too long." If Morrie is to cling to his last moments of life, desperately craving more, he will die having felt in his last minutes only frustration and dissatisfaction. This belief is much like Morrie's understanding of age. As he has explained to Mitch, he believes that a specific age, whether old or young, should be enjoyed during the year that it is being lived. Just as older people who have enriched their lives with meaningful and satisfying endeavors do not feel the need to return to or relive their youth, the dying should not feel the need for a longer life, given they have lived their life to its fullest extent.

The Thirteenth Tuesday: We Talk about the Perfect Day
Morrie decides that he wants to be cremated and discusses his funeral plans with Charlotte and Al Axelrad, a rabbi from Brandeis and a long-time friend of Morrie's. Now, Morrie must breathe through an oxygen tube which has been inserted up his nose. Mitch hates the sight of the oxygen tube, as he views it as a symbol of complete helplessness and even has the urge to yank it from his nose. Morrie describes to him a violent coughing spell he had suffered the night before, and explains that he found serenity in those frightening moments when he was able to accept his own death. It was only then that he truly felt ready to die and transcend. He stresses that while we are alive, we must "make peace" with the reality of dying.

Morrie asks to see the hibiscus plant on the window ledge of his study. Mitch cups it in his hands and brings it close to his professor's face, which makes Morrie smile. Death, Morrie says after seeing the plant, is only natural. Morrie again mentions that a person can die without ever completely going away, as they are recalled by the living who lovingly remember them. The love one creates while alive, he says, remains long after death.
Brutally realistic, Morrie has never hoped that his illness could be cured. He tells Mitch that there is no possible way he could ever return to being the man he had been before contracting the disease, as he is now a completely different self. Mitch then asks what Morrie would do if he could have twenty-four hours of full health. Morrie replies, very simply, that he would do what he would have done on any average day, such as eat lunch with friends and go for an evening walk. Mitch is surprised at first, and then realizes that Morrie is trying to exemplify that there is perfection in the average day.
Later, Morrie broaches the sensitive topic of Mitch's younger brother, Peter. Mitch remembers him as a carefree child, and thinks how different he is now as an adult, frail from the chemotherapy treatments. Mitch has called his brother, though he has not been able to speak to him. Peter continually refuses Mitch's support, and reiterates that he does not want to talk about his cancer. Morrie assures Mitch that his loving relationship with his brother will be restored in time.
Morrie tells a story he had heard about a wave on the ocean. The wave had felt good until it had realized that, like all the other waves, it would soon crash to shore and be destroyed. Another wave tells him not to be afraid, for all of the small waves are a part of the larger ocean.
The Fourteenth Tuesday: We Say Good-bye
Charlotte had called the day prior to Mitch's visit to let him know that Morrie had not been doing well, a sign that he had reached his final days. Morrie is asleep when he arrives on this last and fourteenth Tuesday, and he must wait to see him. For a moment, Mitch worries that he has forgotten to bring tapes for his tape recorder. He has brought food for him, as usual, though Morrie has not been able to eat such food for quite a while. He apologizes to Charlotte for bringing the food, and explains that it has become a tradition. Mitch reads the newspaper while he waits for Morrie to wake, and again reads of murder and hatred. As he enters Morrie's bedroom, he notices a 24-hour hospice nurse sitting in the hall and recalls Morrie's aphorism, "When you're in bed, you're dead."
Morrie is barely able to speak, though he manages to tell Mitch that he is his friend, a good soul, and that he loves him. Throughout their last conversation, Mitch holds Morrie's hand. Morrie cries, and Mitch comforts him by stroking his head. He tells Morrie that he will return next Tuesday, as he knows that Morrie is tired, and leaves without ever having turned on the tape recorder. He gives Morrie one last farewell kiss, and finally, he cries.
Graduation
Morrie had died on Saturday morning, the fourth of November. In the two days prior to his death, he had slipped into a coma. Each of his family members had worked various time shifts to watch over him, though Morrie had waited until they had all gone to the kitchen for coffee to finally pass away. Mitch believes Morrie had died this way purposely, as not to scar any of his family members in the way that he had been scarred by each of his parents' tragic deaths. The funeral gathering is small, though many had wanted to attend. Mitch recalls Morrie's suggestion that he talk to him at his gravesite, which Mitch does during the funeral. To his surprise, it feels almost natural.
Conclusion
Mitch reflects on how he has changed since his final lessons with Morrie. He wishes he could reach back and shake sense into the jaded man he had been before his reunion with his old professor, but finds comfort in Morrie's lesson that he is ever-changing. Shortly after Morrie's death, Mitch is able to contact his brother, Peter, in Europe. The brothers have a long talk in which Mitch explains that he respects Peter's distance, but wants to maintain a relationship with him. He tells Peter that he does not want to lose him, and that he loves him. Only days later, he receives a good-humored fax message from Peter, an indication that their relationship will soon be rekindled.
Mitch reveals that the book itself was largely Morrie's idea, and that he had even invented the title himself. He and Mitch had referred to the book as their "final thesis." Mitch looks through boxes of Morrie's old college material and finds a final paper he had written. Mitch then speaks directly to his readers, probing them to consider the importance of teachers they have had in the past and the long-term influence they have had on the readers' lives.
Analysis
Throughout Tuesdays With Morrie, Morrie's growing dependency on oxygen has served as an indicator for Mitch to understand how close his professor is to his dying day. Morrie's dependency on the oxygen tank has increased steadily since the nights when he needed it only to regain his normal breathing pattern. Now that Morrie relies on the oxygen tubes in his nose to breathe at all, he knows that Morrie's day to leave him is frighteningly close, and cannot accept that soon, his dear friend will not be there, waiting in his study on Tuesday with a smile and a lesson on life. Mitch's newfound friendship with Morrie has served as the catalyst for many a revelation. He has reassessed his life and his priorities that drive it. Now, it is time fro Mitch to accept that Morrie is dying, and will not be with him on earth for much longer. Mitch's urge to yank the oxygen tube from Morrie's nose is a manifestation of his fear; he is afraid of what he will become without Morrie to guide him, and essentially wants to revert time to a day when Morrie was strong, cogent, and in good health.
But in time, Mitch realizes that to do this is impossible, and that he must accept death as Morrie has, with patience and courage. His realization comes when he hears Morrie speak about the pink hibiscus plant. Since the start of the book, the pink hibiscus plant has served as a symbol of life's fragility. The plant represents both life and death. As Morrie's condition deteriorates, the plant begins to wither and shed its leaves. The health of the hibiscus plant, in essence, keeps the pace with Morrie's physical deterioration, serving as an example of nature's intended life cycle for every life, be it man or hibiscus.
Although Morrie's belief in the afterlife is not absolutely defined, it is strongly implied that he holds some belief in the possibility of reincarnation. Throughout the book, he and Mitch have discussed the beliefs of other cultures in the afterlife, such as the tribe that believe in miniature creatures (the soul) within each larger animal (the body). Morrie has also said that if he could be reincarnated, he would return as a gazelle, as he yearns to once again be limber and fast. The story Morrie tells Mitch on their fourteenth Tuesday together is also indicative of his belief in reincarnation after death. In the allegory, each wave on the ocean does not die, but becomes a small constituent of the larger body of water. Morrie's appreciation of the story can be interpreted to reveal his belief that after his death, he, the one small wave, will somehow return to the human race, the vast ocean, and again contribute to a cycle he has unknowingly repeated many a time, just as the waves on the ocean continuously break on the shore and dissipate, only to return with the white- capped crest that follows.

Take my condition. The things I am supposed to be embarrassed about now — not being able to walk, not being able to wipe my ass, waking up some mornings wanting to cry — there is nothing innately embarrassing about them. It's the same for women not being thin enough, or men not being rich enough. It's just what our culture would have you believe. Don't believe it.
Morrie speaks these words of advice to Mitch during their eleventh Tuesday together, when they talk specifically about culture. Gradually, Morrie has come to accept his physical handicaps, just as he has come to accept his impending death. He complains that the culture is wrong to deem natural physical need as socially embarrassing, and thus he refuses to believe that his handicaps are shameful. In rejecting the values of the popular culture, Morrie creates his own set of mores, which accommodate the physical shortcomings popular culture finds pitiable and embarrassing. As Morrie sees it, popular culture is a dictator under which the human community must suffer. He has already suffered enough from his disease, and does not see why he should seek social acceptance if it is not conducive to his personal happiness. Throughout the book, popular culture is portrayed as a vast brainwashing machine, wiping clean the minds of the public, and replacing the inherent kindness they posses at birth with a ruthless greed and selfish focus.
You see, . . . you closed your eyes. That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too — even when you're in the dark. Even when you're falling.
Morrie says this to his class in a flash back during the second Tuesday. He has asked his class to perform a trust fall exercise, in which the students test one another's trust and reliability by doing trust falls; one student will fall straight backwards and must rely on another student to catch them. Not one student can trust another until one girl falls without flinching. Morrie notes that the girl had closed her eyes, and says that this exercise serves as a metaphor for the secret to trust in relationships; one must sometimes trust blindly, relying only on what they feel to guide them in their decision-making. He uses the exercise to teach his students that trustworthiness is a quality shared by two people in a partnership, and that each person takes a risk in trusting the other. This risk, however, is a risk that people must take. Morrie teaches his students that trust is blind; one can only judge whether or not to trust another based on an instinctive feeling, not because of any rational judgment or method of thinking. To trust someone is to close your eyes and fall back, hoping that the person your instincts have told you is trustworthy will catch you and keep you from harm.
As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed as ignorant as you were at twenty- two, you'd always be twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die, it's the positive that you understand you're going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.
Morrie speaks these words of advice to Mitch on their seventh Tuesday together, when they discuss the common fear of aging. Morrie tells Mitch that the happiness of youth is a farce, as not only do young people suffer very real miseries, but they do not have the wisdom of age to deal with them. Morrie has never feared aging; he embraces it. He believes that if he were to wish for youth, that would indicate his dissatisfaction with the life he has lived. He explains to Mitch that to fight age is fight a hopeless battle, because aging and death are inevitable, and a natural part of the life cycle. Morrie has lived through every age up to his own, and he is therefore a part of each of them. He does not wish to return to these particular ages, as each of them are constituents of the man he is now. He is more eager to explore new frontiers he must face in the future, even if that future is very limited. In accepting his own death, Morrie is able to savor the little time he has left to live, instead of wasting away, frustrated and angry that his time on earth is soon to end.
The truth is . . . once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.
Morrie says this on the fourth Tuesday in response to Mitch's question about how one can prepare for death. He responds with a Buddhist philosophy that every day, one must ask the bird on his shoulder if that day is the day he will die. The philosophy serves as a metaphor for his awareness that his death may come at any moment. The bird itself is symbolic of Morrie's consciousness that his death is fast-approaching, and his readiness to accept it when it does arrive. He hopes that Mitch will realize that this bird is on everyone's shoulder at every moment of their lives, despite how young or old they may be. When he tells Mitch that one must know how to die before one can know how to live, he means that one must accept the possibility of one's own death before he can truly appreciate what he has on earth, as the sobering awareness that one day, it will all be out of reach, prompts the urge to appreciate and value what one can have only for a limited period of time, and to use every moment of that time doing something that one will not regret when the bird sings its last note.
After the funeral, my life changed. I felt as if time were suddenly precious, water going down an open drain, and I could not move quickly enough. No more playing music at half-empty night clubs. No more writing songs in my apartment, songs that no one would hear.
Mitch reveals this resolution in the third chapter of the book, The Student, in which he describes the passionate, earnest, innocent young man he had been before entrenching himself in greed and material wealth. Upon the untimely death of his favorite uncle, Mitch's outlook on life is forever changed. He suddenly feels that the time is precious, and is compelled to live his life to its fullest potential, which, at the time, he believes is the attainment of financial success. The quote serves as Mitch's explanation of how he has transformed from an honest, hopeful young man into a money-grubbing professional who has abandoned his long-harbored dreams in exchange for financial security. It is clear that Mitch feels disconnected with the young man he once was at Brandeis, but desperately wants to reestablish a connection with his former ambitions and ethical values. Mitch had abandoned his dreams for musical success at a very vulnerable period in his life, as he had grown increasingly discouraged by his failure in playing the nightclub circuit. The death of his favorite uncle only served to compound his disillusionment, and, more than any other factor, influenced Mitch to envision life as a race to beat the clock, sucking dry every moment to attain wealth and power as a business professional.
Take my condition. The things I am supposed to be embarrassed about now — not being able to walk, not being able to wipe my ass, waking up some mornings wanting to cry — there is nothing innately embarrassing about them. It's the same for women not being thin enough, or men not being rich enough. It's just what our culture would have you believe. Don't believe it.
Morrie speaks these words of advice to Mitch during their eleventh Tuesday together, when they talk specifically about culture. Gradually, Morrie has come to accept his physical handicaps, just as he has come to accept his impending death. He complains that the culture is wrong to deem natural physical need as socially embarrassing, and thus he refuses to believe that his handicaps are shameful. In rejecting the values of the popular culture, Morrie creates his own set of mores, which accommodate the physical shortcomings popular culture finds pitiable and embarrassing. As Morrie sees it, popular culture is a dictator under which the human community must suffer. He has already suffered enough from his disease, and does not see why he should seek social acceptance if it is not conducive to his personal happiness. Throughout the book, popular culture is portrayed as a vast brainwashing machine, wiping clean the minds of the public, and replacing the inherent kindness they posses at birth with a ruthless greed and selfish focus.
You see, . . . you closed your eyes. That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too — even when you're in the dark. Even when you're falling.
Morrie says this to his class in a flash back during the second Tuesday. He has asked his class to perform a trust fall exercise, in which the students test one another's trust and reliability by doing trust falls; one student will fall straight backwards and must rely on another student to catch them. Not one student can trust another until one girl falls without flinching. Morrie notes that the girl had closed her eyes, and says that this exercise serves as a metaphor for the secret to trust in relationships; one must sometimes trust blindly, relying only on what they feel to guide them in their decision-making. He uses the exercise to teach his students that trustworthiness is a quality shared by two people in a partnership, and that each person takes a risk in trusting the other. This risk, however, is a risk that people must take. Morrie teaches his students that trust is blind; one can only judge whether or not to trust another based on an instinctive feeling, not because of any rational judgment or method of thinking. To trust someone is to close your eyes and fall back, hoping that the person your instincts have told you is trustworthy will catch you and keep you from harm.
As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed as ignorant as you were at twenty- two, you'd always be twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die, it's the positive that you understand you're going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.
Morrie speaks these words of advice to Mitch on their seventh Tuesday together, when they discuss the common fear of aging. Morrie tells Mitch that the happiness of youth is a farce, as not only do young people suffer very real miseries, but they do not have the wisdom of age to deal with them. Morrie has never feared aging; he embraces it. He believes that if he were to wish for youth, that would indicate his dissatisfaction with the life he has lived. He explains to Mitch that to fight age is fight a hopeless battle, because aging and death are inevitable, and a natural part of the life cycle. Morrie has lived through every age up to his own, and he is therefore a part of each of them. He does not wish to return to these particular ages, as each of them are constituents of the man he is now. He is more eager to explore new frontiers he must face in the future, even if that future is very limited. In accepting his own death, Morrie is able to savor the little time he has left to live, instead of wasting away, frustrated and angry that his time on earth is soon to end.
The truth is . . . once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.
Morrie says this on the fourth Tuesday in response to Mitch's question about how one can prepare for death. He responds with a Buddhist philosophy that every day, one must ask the bird on his shoulder if that day is the day he will die. The philosophy serves as a metaphor for his awareness that his death may come at any moment. The bird itself is symbolic of Morrie's consciousness that his death is fast-approaching, and his readiness to accept it when it does arrive. He hopes that Mitch will realize that this bird is on everyone's shoulder at every moment of their lives, despite how young or old they may be. When he tells Mitch that one must know how to die before one can know how to live, he means that one must accept the possibility of one's own death before he can truly appreciate what he has on earth, as the sobering awareness that one day, it will all be out of reach, prompts the urge to appreciate and value what one can have only for a limited period of time, and to use every moment of that time doing something that one will not regret when the bird sings its last note.
After the funeral, my life changed. I felt as if time were suddenly precious, water going down an open drain, and I could not move quickly enough. No more playing music at half-empty night clubs. No more writing songs in my apartment, songs that no one would hear.
Mitch reveals this resolution in the third chapter of the book, The Student, in which he describes the passionate, earnest, innocent young man he had been before entrenching himself in greed and material wealth. Upon the untimely death of his favorite uncle, Mitch's outlook on life is forever changed. He suddenly feels that the time is precious, and is compelled to live his life to its fullest potential, which, at the time, he believes is the attainment of financial success. The quote serves as Mitch's explanation of how he has transformed from an honest, hopeful young man into a money-grubbing professional who has abandoned his long-harbored dreams in exchange for financial security. It is clear that Mitch feels disconnected with the young man he once was at Brandeis, but desperately wants to reestablish a connection with his former ambitions and ethical values. Mitch had abandoned his dreams for musical success at a very vulnerable period in his life, as he had grown increasingly discouraged by his failure in playing the nightclub circuit. The death of his favorite uncle only served to compound his disillusionment, and, more than any other factor, influenced Mitch to envision life as a race to beat the clock, sucking dry every moment to attain wealth and power as a business professional.

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