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Free Study Guide: Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

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TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE: STUDY NOTES / PLOT SYNOPSIS

PLOT STRUCTURE ANALYSIS

Albom wrote the plot very straightforward with little ambiguity and complicated historical references. He has a tendency to include flashbacks to his college years from when he was a student of Morrie’s; he does this to give background on his once, slightly naïve and less materialistic self, so the readers have a clear conception of the person he has become in the following sixteen years. He also does this to emphasize Morrie’s loving and compassionate values that he has always tried to express through his teachings.

Mitch feels so thankful to have had Morrie in his life; for he has helped bring value and purpose into Mitch’s life. Through the plot Mitch wishes to express how Morrie has changed his life, through these Tuesday lessons; also, Morrie wishes to express his teachings and values to the world and he was able to do that through Mitch and this novel.

Exposition


In the Exposition, introductory material is presented which gives the reader the setting, creates the tone and presents the characters and other facts necessary to understanding the story. The exposition takes place through the first four chapters. “The Curriculum” (1) tells us that there will be a class taught, on the meaning of life, by a teacher who is dying; his death would come at the end of the course. The author also tells us that he is the student. In the second chapter the author presents background information on Morrie Schwartz: the teacher. We learn information about Morrie: he is a teacher, he loves to dance and he has been diagnosed with ALS. The following chapter presents background information about the author and narrator, Mitch Albom. We learn here that he is a sports reporter for the Detroit Free Press and that he is very wealthy and successful. “The Audiovisual” (18) is the final chapter in the exposition in which the narrator describes how he first knew of Morrie’s sickness, which leads him to these weekly Tuesday visits with Morrie. After this chapter all of the background information, and major characters have been introduced and from here on, the action begins to rise as Mitch visits Morrie every Tuesday.

Rising Action

The Rising Action is the events that build from the conflict. There are two conflicts in this story: the first being Morrie’s struggle with his fatal disease, ALS; the second being Mitch’s struggle with himself in dealing with the person he has become and the person who he wishes to be and the new life he wants to lead. The action begins to rise after Mitch sees Morrie on the “Nightline” show. He has not seen or spoken to Morrie in over sixteen years. After Mitch sees Morrie on “Nightline” he contacts him and begins to visit him every Tuesday for lessons which all encompass the meaning of life. The action rises throughout the novel with each new lesson as we see Mitch struggle with his life and Morrie struggle with his impending death.

Climax

The climax is the high point of the story and also the point at which the outcome can be predicted. The climax in this story does not happen until the last Tuesday Mitch and Morrie spend together. Throughout the novel and for the entire time Morrie has known Mitch, he has been trying to get him to open up and express more emotion. When they meet again, towards the beginning of the novel, Morrie tells Mitch that he is still going to try and make him cry. After all these years, during their last visit Mitch hugged Morrie for what will be the last time and began to cry. From here on the action begins to fall as we can predict the outcome will be Morrie’s death.

Falling Action

The Falling Action is the events after the Climax, which close the story and lead to the resolution. The falling action begins just after Morrie makes Mitch cry. Morrie dies not too long after and Mitch attends his funeral.

Resolution (Denouement)

The resolution is the outcome of all the events in the story. During one of the Tuesday lessons, Morrie says to Mitch, “you talk I’ll listen” (188); implying that after his death he still wants Mitch to talk with him just as he did when he was alive. At the end of the novel, when Mitch is at Morrie’s funeral he tried talking with Morrie and was pleasantly surprised at how natural it felt. We can assume that Mitch will continue to find comfort and guidance in his life through these conversations with Morrie.

With his new outlook on life, Mitch also tried contacting his sick brother in Spain. For the first time, Mitch told his brother how much he wanted to be a part of his life and how much he loves him. At the end of the novel we can tell that Mitch and his brother will continue to remain in contact as opposed to before.


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Radisch, Sharon. "TheBestNotes on Tuesdays With Morrie". TheBestNotes.com. . 09 May 2017
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