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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
The novel takes place during 1995, in Morrie’s study, in West Newton, Massachusetts. Mitch and Morrie meet every Tuesday, in his study, to discuss the meaning of life.
Morrie was a college professor for most of his career, and Mitch took all of his classes offered, when he was in college. When Morrie taught small classes, he would often hold them in his study, at the university, to give the students a friendlier environment. Morrie would also meet with his students, especially Mitch, outside of the class for discussion purposes.
Since Morrie has been sick and thereby restrained to his house, he and Mitch meet every Tuesday, in his study. This setting is symbolic and parallels to Morrie’s teaching career and the many students’ lives he had changed. It is only fitting that since Morrie liked to teach in his study, as he was able to give his last class, to one of his favorite students (Mitch) in the comfort of his own study at home.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
The novel is centered around him; Morrie is Mitch’s former college professor who was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gherig's disease); he meets with Mitch in his home every Tuesday to teach him about the meaning of life.
Morrie's former student; he has since become a journalist and leads a very fast paced life; finds Morrie after hearing he is sick on "ABC's Nightline" and visits him every Tuesday.
A famous television newsman/personality; he interviews Morrie three times for the “ABC's Nightline” show; he eventually describes Morrie as his friend and is almost in tears during his last interview with Morrie.
Morrie’s wife, who is also a college professor; she keeps her job as a professor even while Morrie is sick because it is what he wished for her.
Mitch’s wife; she takes a phone call from Morrie, whom she had never met, and accompanies Mitch to his next visit with Morrie. As a professional singer, she never sings upon request; however, when Morrie asked her to sing she did without hesitation and moved him to tears.
Mitch’s younger brother who lives in Spain; he has pancreatic cancer and refuses any help from his family. He seems reluctant to rekindle his relationship with Mitch, but by the end of the novel, we see that he has warmed up and may be letting his brother back into his life.
Morrie’s father who came to America from Russia. He neglects Morrie and his brother; he even insists that Morrie keeps the death of their mother a secret from his younger brother. He dies after escaping muggers; Morrie had to travel to New York to identify his body at the city morgue.
Morrie’s stepmother who came into his life when he was about nine years old. She provided much love to Morrie and his brother, David. She highly valued education and served as a great motivation for Morrie to work hard at his education. Morrie’s love for education stemmed from Eva, which later lead to his career as a professor.
Morrie’s younger brother who developed polio at a young age.
Morrie’s at-home health care aide; she assists Morrie in going to the bathroom, getting up and into his chair and also with his meals.