Free Study Guide: Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

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“Love each other or die” (163)

Morrie stresses this quote and theme throughout the novel. He feels that an abundance of love and compassion is the highest sense of fulfillment that one can experience. The expression of love and compassion is very important to Morrie, especially since he lacked such expression in his childhood. With the early death of his mother, and his busy father, Morrie did not feel a sense of love until Eva came into their home. Eva nurtured and cared for him as if he was her own child and Morrie carried this sense of love and compassion with him for the rest of his life. Because he was void of love at an early age, for the rest of his life he continuously offered his love and compassion to others.

Love is also important to Morrie as he is nearing the final days of his life. He feels that without the care of those who love him, he would perish. Morrie is not afraid of dying, as he so often tells us throughout the novel, but he hangs on because he wants to share his story and his lessons to Mitch and the rest of the world. Morrie lives long enough to express the essence of his teachings to Mitch (love, compassion and acceptance); he then allows himself to be released to death. He leaves Mitch and the readers, with his message that love brings meaning to life and that without it, we may as well be dead.

Acceptance through Detachment

Throughout the novel Morrie, continuously talks about detaching himself from his experience, especially when he suffers from violent coughing spells. Morrie bases this theory of detachment, from a Buddhist philosophy. He feels that no one should cling to anything, and that everything that exists is impermanent. Through detaching himself, he is able to remove himself from his surroundings into his own consciousness. This way he is able to gain perspective in uncomfortable and stressful situations. However, Morrie does not use this method to stop feeling or experiencing; he actually wants to experience the situation fully. After he experiences a certain feeling he is then able to let go and detach himself. He practices this often during life threatening situations, such as his severe coughing spells, because he does not want to die upset or scared. He detaches himself so that he can accept these situations in his life and so that he will be able to embrace his death easier since it is approaching.

Popular culture vs. self-created values

Morrie’s lessons also center around this theme that we should reject pop-culture values and standards, to develop our own sense of values. Morrie feels that pop-culture resembles a dictator under which we all suffer. Throughout his life, Morrie has been successful at rejecting this dictatorship and creating his own culture based on love, compassion, acceptance and communication. Morrie feels that the media drives greed and violence, which is then promoted by pop-culture. He was successful at reevaluating his own life and what he feels is true fulfillment. We also see how unfulfilled Mitch seems to be with his busy working life and material aspirations. Through his lessons, Morrie was able to open Mitch’s eyes to see what really fulfills one in life.


The story is told in the first person, limited point of view. In the first person, the narrator does participates in the action of the story; however, it is important to note that since the narrator is taking part in the action, he or she may not be telling the objective truth. The point of view is also limited because Albom’s knowledge is limited to only himself and he is not all knowing or omniscient.

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Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom: Free BookNotes Summary

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