Tuesdays with Morrie
Tuesdays With Morrie: An Old Man, A young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson is the best-selling memoir by the American author Mitch Albom. The first edition with ISBN 0-7679-0592-X was published in 1997 by Doubleday (a division of Random House, Inc.). In 1999 Thomas Rickman made a film version of a novel, which was subsequently followed by Mitch Albom’s audiobook.
The novel written by Mitch Albom was initially intended to pay off his mentor’s medicine bills. I believe the innermost purpose of the author lies in teaching a valuable lesson to his readers: “there is no such thing as “too late” in life” (Albom, 190). He encourages to never stop searching for one’s meaning in living.
To convince his audience, Mitch Albom recollects the story which happened to him and his sociology teacher Morrie Schwarz. Fatally diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), professor hastens to uncover essential topics, which serve the theme of the book. These are life and death, acceptance and detachment, culture and money, family and love, etc. The thesis of the book is to show the way one can develop one’s own culture by rejecting some of the societal rules and human prejudices.
The story is told from the first person in an easy understandable manner. The author uses general literary vocabulary. The plot of the novel is mostly developed by narration (recountal of Morrie’s biography and Tuesday meetings) combined with description (portrayal of Morrie’s appearance through disease progression), exposition (recollection of sociology classes) and argument (Mitch’s and Morrie’s dialogues). The table of contents comprises acknowledgements and 27 short chapters, 14 of which are devoted to Tuesday conversations of the main characters. The chronological order of the story is occasionally interrupted by the author’s reminiscences or explanations. However it does not prevent the writer from expressing the main idea of his literary work.
Tuesdays With Morrie is the last lesson given by a mortally ill teacher to his best student. Fourteen Tuesdays spent with Morrie open a completely different way of looking at things for Mitch, who has already ceased fulfilling his old dreams and took everything for granted. While the professor attempts to accept the forthcoming of death, the student observes the personal growth of his teacher. Although Morrie’s body withers, his character fosters. The author provides a clear survey of professor’s life from his childhood till death. It enables the reader to analyze all the changes from the psychological viewpoint.
From time to time Morrie gives out words of wisdom, the so called “aphorisms”: “learn to forgive yourself and to forgive others” (Albom, 18), “once you learn how to die, you learn how to live” (Albom, 82), “love each other or perish” (Albom, 149). Morrie constantly emphasizes the impact culture imposes on people. To his mind, humans are so involved in lots of automatically done actions, that there is no time to stop and look back at one’s life. Thus in this novel special attention is paid to the spiritual aspect rather than to material things. The scope of problems discussed in the book can be referred to the field of psychological studies, namely the course of human growth and development. Nevertheless, this type of autobiography will surely excite the curiosity not only of the psychology students and professors, but of the ordinary readers as well.
Indeed, the majority of people are lucky to come across spiritual mentors: be it their school teachers, parents, neighbors or occasional acquaintances. Those who have not still met such a person have got a precious opportunity to read this book and find the answers to vital questions, better understand themselves and, perhaps, get the most important lesson in life. However it should be noted that the novel can rouse gloomy feelings. Personally, I was touched to tears as far as it reminded me of my personal experience. Therefore the audience should be ready to get emotionally involved in reading and have courage to overcome its effects. Otherwise you will not be able to draw your own conclusions.