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Free Study Guide: Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

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TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE: LESSON PLANS / LITERARY CRITICISM

The Twelfth Tuesday

Summary

It is the Twelfth Tuesday and Mitch and Morrie discuss forgiveness. The whole time, Mitch rubs lotion on Morrie’s feet to relieve them of some pain.

Morrie tells Mitch a story in which he never forgave one of his friends for an incident which happened years ago. He then continued to say that we also must forgive ourselves for the things we feel we should have done.

At the end of the chapter Morrie tells Mitch that if he could have had another son, he would have liked it to be Mitch.

The chapter flashes back to a conversation between Mitch and Morrie when Morrie found the place in which he would like to be buried. It is on a hill beneath a tree and overlooking a pond. He hopes that Mitch will come visit him and tell him all his problems.

Notes

In this chapter we learn that Morrie did once have spite and pride towards one of his old friends. His friend Norman and his wife moved away to Chicago. When Morrie’s wife had to have a serious operation they did not receive as much as a phone call from Norman or his wife. Morrie became very angry with him and never treated their friendship the same. Morrie regretted never reconciling with Norman and accepting his apologies, especially when he died of cancer.

Morrie feels that as much as it is important to realize when we should have forgiven someone else, we should also forgive ourselves for this mistake. He states that we must acknowledge what it is we wished we would have done, and then forgive ourselves for it.

Morrie also states that he feels sad that his time is dwindling but he is also grateful with the chance he has to “make things right” (167).


The Thirteenth Tuesday


Summary

Morrie has decided to be cremated upon his death. He tells Mitch how people act as if death is contagious and how they are afraid to see it.

Morrie has been having very bad nights involving terrible coughing spells. He had recently had one so terrible that he almost felt as if he was going to die. He told Mitch that he suddenly felt at piece with dying.

Mitch asks Morrie what he would do if he was perfectly healthy for one day. Morrie describes a simple day of being with friends and dancing.

They then discuss Mitch’s sick brother who he has been trying to reach for weeks. Mitch cannot understand how his brother wants to be left alone during this time. Morrie tells him that he will eventually find a way back to his brother just as he found him.

Notes

Mitch asks Morrie that if he could be healthy for one day, what would he do. He described a simple day to Mitch: waking up and having breakfast, visiting with a few of his friends at a time so he could talk with them each about their families and their lives, have lunch with them and then meet his friends again for dinner and dancing. Mitch realized that such simple things could be perfection for Morrie. He did not choose any exotic vacations, he chose to remain where he was, and to be surrounded with those who he loved.


The Fourteenth Tuesday/Graduation

Summary

Charlotte had called Mitch that day, to tell him that Morrie was not doing well but he still wanted to see him. When Mitch arrived, Morrie was still asleep and now bed ridden. He was very weak; he told Mitch that he was not doing well, and that he loved him. Mitch kissed Morrie, longer than usual, and finally began to cry.

Morrie died on a Saturday morning with his immediate family present. The funeral was held on a damp, gray morning. Charlotte kept the ceremony small for only friends and family, although hundreds wanted to attend.

Mitch talked with Morrie in his head and noted how familiar the conversation felt. He then realized that it was Tuesday.

Notes

On this last Tuesday it does not seem as if Morrie has the energy to talk. He tells Mitch what a good person he is and that he has touched his heart. Mitch holds Morrie’s hand like usual, and tells him that he loves him. He then begins to cry and hopes that Morrie is a bit satisfied that he has finally made him cry. This was foreshadowed at the beginning of the novel where Mitch’s character was still stiff and lacking emotion. We could assume that Morrie would find a way to open Mitch up and let out his emotions. We can gradually see this throughout the novel as Mitch kisses Morrie, holds his hand and massages his feet. Finally, at their last moment together, Morrie has successfully made Mitch cry.

When Morrie died, he was alone in his room. It was the one moment where no one in his family was with him. It seems as though he had waited for it to be that way so there were no horrifying moments and no one witnessing his last breath. It seems as though he did not want anyone haunted by his death, such as he was by the deaths of his parents.


Conclusion

Summary/Notes

One of the main things that Morrie taught Mitch was that, "there is no such thing as 'too late' in life" (192). Mitch seemed to take this thought to heart, as he was inspired to contact his sick brother in Spain. Mitch told him that he respected his desire for the distance between them but that he wanted to remain in contact because Mitch loved him. Mitch stated that he had never said such a thing to his brother; it seems as though by Mitch telling his brother that he loves him, also allowed his brother to see that it is never too late to regain contact and include his family in his life.


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