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Tuesdays With Morrie-Free Study Guide/Book Summary Notes
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THEMES

“Love each other or die” (pg. 163)

Throughout the book, Morrie recites a quote by his favorite poet or this variation in his own words. This is one of the most important lessons he wishes to teach Mitch and express on “Nightline”. Morrie feels that love and compassion are necessary for a person to be fulfilled. Morrie says that when love abounds, there is no higher sense of fulfillment one can experience.

Popular culture vs. self-created values

Morrie’s lessons often contribute this theme that one should reject pop-culture values and standards and instead develop his or her own values. Morrie sees pop-culture as a dictator under which we must suffer. Morrie was able to create his own set of culture and values founded on love, acceptance and open communication.

Acceptance through detachment

Morrie often 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.


MOOD

The mood changes slightly throughout the novel; however, the mood is mostly solemn because we know from the very beginning of the book that Morrie is dying. At times we can feel Morrie’s positive personality, when he is joking with Ted Koppel or Mitch, and we sense more of a light hearted tone. The novel also expresses a mood of reflection and enlightenment during Morrie’s lessons.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION - BIOGRAPHY

Morrie Schwartz was one of Mitch Albom’s college professors. Since his college graduation, Mitch and Morrie gradually lost touch; however, Mitch rediscovered Morrie during the last months of his life and they were able to rekindle their friendship. Mitch visited Morrie every Tuesday, in his study, which turned into a private lesson on how to live life. Tuesdays With Morrie is the magical result of Mitch and Morrie’s time spent together in the months leading to his death.

Mitch Albom is not only a best-selling author, he is also a newspaper columnist for the Detroit Free Press, radio host for ABC and WJR-AM in Detroit.

Albom is a native of Philadelphia, PA and attended Brandeis University, where he obtained his degree in sociology. He then attended Columbia University for his Master's Degree in journalism and business administration.

Mitch Albom has written seven other books, including the bestseller, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. His other works include Live Albom I, Live Albom II, Live Albom III, Live Albom IV, BO, which is the autobiography of Bo Schemechler, and Fab Five, which is a story about the University of Michigan's men's basketball recruits who became starters as freshman, during the 1990's.

Aside from writing novels, Albom has also been deemed the #1 Sports Columnist in the Nation by the sports editors of America. He has received over 100 writing awards from National Sportswriters and Broadcasters Associations, Headliners Club as well as many others. His work has also appeared in publications such as Sports Illustrated, GQ Magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and TV Guide.

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