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TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE FREE STUDY GUIDE / ANALYSIS
The First Tuesday
Mitch visits Morrie for the second time. Mitch notices a stack of newspapers that Morrie had obviously read. Mitch is surprised that Morrie is keeping up-to-date with the news. They discuss a bit of news going on in the world and Morrie cries.
The flashback in this section takes place in one of Mitch’s college classes with Morrie. Morrie enters the room and is silent for about fifteen minutes. The students become uncomfortable which thus leads into a discussion regarding silence. Morrie tells Mitch, after the class, that Mitch reminds him of himself.
Morrie still is interested in the world news even though he is near his own death. While discussing the war in Bosnia, Mitch begins to cry because he says that he can “feel their anguish” (50). We can tell that Mitch becomes uncomfortable with Morrie’s crying. Morrie tells Mitch that he will loosen him up one day and show him that it is ok for a man to cry.
Morrie explains that he thinks the most important thing in life is to learn how to give and receive love. He thinks that many do not believe they deserve love, but that “Love is the only rational act” (52). With this said Mitch gave Morrie a hug and a kiss while agreeing to meet him again the next Tuesday.
We see Mitch very slowly opening up to Morrie, as he once had in college. He is no longer hiding behind his job and his arrogance and is gradually shedding his emotional shield which he had gained the past sixteen years.
Mitch’s persona, on this first Tuesday, coincides with his character in the flashback presented in this chapter. During a particular class in college Morrie noticed that Mitch was quiet and shy about participating in the class discussion. Morrie told Mitch that he thinks he has a lot of assets to add to the discussion and that he reminds Morrie of himself: by keeping everything to himself.
On this particular Tuesday Mitch also seems hesitant to speak about his feelings. This is foreshadowing that Morrie will again “loosen” (51) him up as he once did back when Mitch was his student.
The Second Tuesday
This second Tuesday Mitch and Morrie discuss feeling sorry for yourself. Morrie says that he feels sorry for himself in the mornings when he realizes how much feeling or movement he has lost; he cries and then gets on with his day.
Mitch recalls a specific class with Morrie during his junior year in college. Morrie had everyone in the class stand and turn their backs to one another. He wanted each student to fall backwards in trust that their assigned partners would catch them. Only one student in the class completed the assignment.
Mitch flies approximately seven hundred miles to see Morrie on Tuesdays. He no longer rents a cell phone to take on the rides with him. He is beginning to loosen up and enjoy his time alone and with Morrie.
We can also see that Mitch is finally becoming more comfortable and less awkward around Morrie; he begins to help Connie in lifting Morrie to and from his recliner. As Mitch feels Morrie’s dead weight in his arms, he finally realizes that their time together is running out.
The Third Tuesday
Mitch brings a tape recorder to Morrie’s in order to remember their discussions. They discuss regrets and how culture prevents us from thinking about such things until we are near our death.
On the plane ride home that day, Mitch made a list of all of the questions he had for Morrie.
During Mitch’s senior year in college, Morrie convinced him to write a sociology thesis on sports. Mitch is very proud of his work and momentarily considers returning for graduate school.
Morrie and Mitch discuss regrets and how our culture prevents us from acknowledging our life until it is too late. Morrie states that most people have this fear of “What if today were my last day on earth” (64)? Would they have been happy with their life? Would they have released their inner child or helped others? Mitch becomes uneasy at this point; he pictures himself slumped over his desk, writing a story, and his editors greedily snatching the story from him as he is taken away in an ambulance to his death.
Mitch is starting to observe his own life and his own happiness. He is beginning to feel that he is not entirely happy in his life choices. He also begins taking notice of the people around him and how most are so wrapped up in greed and anger; it seems as though Mitch is seeing the lack of meaning in his life, through observing the lives of those around him.