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Free Study Guide: Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

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TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE: STUDY GUIDE / ANALYSIS

The Professor Part II

Summary

After Morrie received his PhD, he spent time working at a mental hospital near Washington, DC. Morrie ended up working at the hospital for five years and even befriended some of the patients.

Following his work at the hospital he went to Brandeis to teach. He taught classes on social psychology, mental illness and health; he focused more on personal development than career skills.

Notes

Albom is allowing us in to more of Morrie’s background. Before he worked as a professor he was given a grant to observe mental patients and record their treatments. He even became friends with some of the patients. Through his work at the mental hospital, he saw that most of the patients had experienced so much rejection and lack of compassion in their lives, that they were left feeling like they didn’t exist. Since many of the patience came from wealthy backgrounds Morrie learned that this wealth did not buy them happiness; Morrie never forgot this lesson or the importance of compassion.



The Seventh Tuesday

Summary

This Tuesday Morrie and Mitch discuss the fear of ageing. Morrie has finally surrendered to his illness: he can no longer go to the bathroom by himself. Instead of being frustrated he is enjoying all the people around him who are helping him and taking care of him.

Morrie describes why he thinks it is beneficial to age: to learn more, gain a better understanding of your life and to experience growth.

Notes

Throughout the book thus far, Morrie would joke that one day he would need someone to wipe him after he was finished in the bathroom. We see such an impact of his sickness since he can no longer go to the bathroom alone, wash himself, or blow his nose. Morrie says he is enjoying being taken care of so much, just as a baby does. Morrie states that when we are babies we can never get enough of our mothers holding us and rocking us; Morrie then states, “Most of us didn’t get enough. I know I didn’t” (116). As he states this we are reminded of the conversation in which he is telling Ted Koppel about that his mother died when he was very young. Because of this Mitch finally sees why Morrie enjoys human touch to the extent that he does. Morrie feels that he, himself, did not receive enough, due to the early death of his mother, so he seemed to live his life giving out as much as he could to those around him.

Morrie was never particularly scared to age. Being a teacher he sees much of the misery and confusion in young people; he thinks that it can be quite rough being young. He also feels that the young are not yet very wise; they do not yet understand life and its directions, and are still negatively influenced by the media.

Morrie feels that with age comes growth and knowledge. He sees ageing as a growth and the ability to live a better life. He feels that people who wish they were young, lead unfulfilled lives. He states, “...If you’ve found meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back” (118).

In this chapter, Morrie again emphasizes his theory that once we understand we are going to die, we will lead a better and more fulfilling life.


The Eighth Tuesday

Summary

Influenced by a quote from the newspaper, Morrie and Mitch discuss money and power. Morrie lived his life enjoying simple pleasures such as dancing, singing and laughing. He explains in this chapter how he sees society being brainwashed into thinking that “more is good” (124).

Morrie tells Mitch that in order to feel satisfied, people should offer to others, what they have, whether it be a skill or simply just listening.

Notes

Morrie discusses the negative impacts that our society has on our conception of what we think creates happiness. He feels that society is trying to promise happiness in materialistic things. Morrie interprets people who constantly buy the latest must-haves, as people who are very deprived of love. He feels that people embrace material things when they are lacking some sort of meaningful relationship.

Morrie feels that we can gain satisfaction in our lives if we offer to others, what we have to give; he says that the best way to do this is by offering companionship.

This is an important lesson for Mitch because he realizes that he is striving for such materialistic things. He is constantly surrounded by rich athletes and the media and is always competing for a higher salary, bigger house and so on. Mitch even admits to himself that he is one of those people who Morrie is describing who is lacking tenderness and compassion. This is emphasized when Mitch states that he kept taking notes on what Morrie was saying so Morrie would not be able to read Mitch’s thoughts and feelings through his eyes.


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