Mitch Albom opens the novel with background information on Morrie Schwartz.
Morrie was one of Mitch’s favorite professors, in college, at Brandeis
University. Mitch introduces Morrie to his parents and gives him a briefcase
for a gift. They hug; and when Mitch steps back he can see that Morrie
This first chapter introduces the reader to the setting, mood and theme
of the novel. We learn that Morrie Schwartz was Mitch’s favorite professor
from when he went to college. It is also foreshadowed that this novel
will be centered around Morrie’s last class, which was given in his home,
to Mitch Albom. The theme of the class was the meaning of life and Mitch
was the only student. It is apparent that this novel will be reflective,
somber and hopefully enlightening. For we also know that at the end of
the lesson-the “graduation” (1), will be Morrie’s funeral.
Morrie could sense that his health was suffering, when he could no longer dance; this was even before he was diagnosed with ALS. Morrie loved to dance to any music and even with or without a partner.
As he aged into his seventies, breathing became harder, walking more challenging, and sleep troubling; he began to see doctors and was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Despite his terminal illness, he kept swimming, with help of course,
and even insisted on teaching a class at the University.
Mitch Albom presents more insight to Morrie’s character in this chapter. We see that he is carefree, loves to dance, a distinguished sociology professor, and determined to live his life to the very fullest, to the very end. When Morrie had to give up dancing, he kept swimming; when he could no longer dress and undress himself, he got help and still swam; when Morrie had to go to the bathroom, he asked one of his visitors to hold his cup; when Morrie was suffering from the terminal illness, ALS, he still taught a college class.
Morrie was innovative and inspirational to those around him. Upon attending
a funeral, he felt sad that his deceased colleague never got to hear all
of the praise said about him; Morrie held his own living funeral where
he could hear the praise and tribute paid upon him.
Cite this page:
Radisch, Sharon. "TheBestNotes on Tuesdays With Morrie".
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