Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Outside Reading Book Essay
“When you’re dead, you’re dead. That’s it” actress Marlene Dietrich once said. People are going to die, but most do not know when. Morrie Schwartz knew he was going to die due to his diagnosis of ALS; ALS is a disease which causes degeneration throughout the body. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is about Mitch and Morrie’s conversations, discussions, and stories during Morrie’s last months. The message is the importance of life, which is shown through passages, tone and imagery.
Through passages from the memoir, Mitch shows the importance of life. ‘“There’s a big confusion in this country over what we want versus what we need”’ (126). People are constantly being told what to do based on peer pressure. They are blind to the fact that life is not just about what other people think. “I did not keep in touch” (14). Mitch went a separate way after college, and forgot over the years about the meaning of life. “a thousand miles away, in my house on the hill, I was casually flipping channels. I heard these words from the TV set- “Who is Morrie Schwartz?”- and went numb” (23). Mitch got so wrapped up in his own life that he forgot about his professor. The message is explained in passages from the memoir.
Tone is used to help show the message of the memoir. “everyone knows they’re going to die, but nobody believes it”(80). The tone helped him say that life is too important and people need to think about death, but most of the people in the world do not believe that this will happen.
‘“Sometimes, in the mornings,” he said. “That’s when I mourn. I feel around my body, I move my fingers and my hands--whatever I can still move-- and I mourn what I’ve lost… but then I stop mourning…I give myself a good cry if I need it. But then I concentrate on all the good things still in my life’” (56-57).
He mourns, but gets over it because life is too important to waste time on such little things such as mourning. Also, Mitch gives up all his Tuesdays to be with Morrie. The message is shown through tone of the book.
Also, the importance of life is shown through imagery. “Morrie was in a wheelchair full-time now”(18). To be able to walk or not being able to walk, is important. Also: “his shaky handwriting was now indecipherable to everyone but him”(82). His body has become too weak that other people can not read his handwriting anymore. He is decaying quickly, his muscles in his legs went first and now hitting his hands. “Morrie weakly lifted a hand, halfway to his belly”(161). Now barely being able to lift a hand, his body had decayed even more. It shows one important thing in life, being healthy.
Though Morrie is decaying, he can still send the message of the memoir. From not being healthy, not mourning, and not keeping in touch, shows how life should be about people, not get wrapped up so tight in life, that people cant find the meaning of life until its almost too late.