Tuesdays wih Morrie Study Guide

Tuesdays wih Morrie By Mitch Albom

This book is non-fiction and autobiographical.

Mitch Albom, newspaper columnist, recounts the time he spent with Morrie Schwartz, his seventy-eight year old sociology professor at Brandeis University, who was dying from Lou Gehrig's disease. A former student of Schwartz, Albom had not corresponded with him since he attended his college classes sixteen years earlier. The first three chapters consist of an ambiguous presentation of the final conversation between Albom and Schwartz, a brief flashback to 20 years earlier: Albom's graduation, and a short recounting of the events Albom experienced between that graduation and the time that he became prompted to return to his professor.

Albom attempted to become a pianist, but failed. He is a much more successful columnist to the Detroit Free Press. One night, after seeing Schwartz on Nightline, Albom visits Schwartz. They agree to meet on Tuesdays. A strike at the Detroit Newspapers frees Albom from work and allows him to regularly fly from his home in Detroit to Schwartz' place in Boston. The (eponymous) book that results from these visits is based on Albom's recount of Schwartz' lectures, quotes, experiences, and conversations. It is speckled with frequent flashbacks and allusions to contemporary events between each visit. The two refer to the book as their 'final thesis together'.

Morrie advises Mitch in these lessons to reject 'popular culture' in favor of creating his own. The culture Morrie encourages Mitch to create for himself is an individualistic culture founded on love, acceptance, and the goodness of humanity; a culture that upholds ethical values unlike the mores that popular culture endorses. Morrie believes that popular culture is founded on greed, selfishness, and superficiality, and he urges Mitch to overcome these things. Morrie also stresses that Mitch (and he) must accept death and aging, because both are inevitable.

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What is Morrie's criticisms of Mitch throughout the movie. Do you think he should be easier or togher on Mitch? Why?

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