Tuesdays with Morrie

Mitch Albom Character Analysis

A sports reporter living and working in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Brandeis University for his undergraduate degree, where he met professor Morrie Schwartz through his sociology classes. The two developed a close relationship while Mitch was a student, but lost touch after he graduated. A few years after college, Mitch is deeply shaken by the early and painful death of his favorite uncle, and becomes fearful that he too will die early. To counteract this fear, he gives up on his dream of becoming a professional pianist and develops extremely ambitious working habits, accumulating wealth and property as a way to feel in control of his life. When he begins to visit Morrie (after learning of Morrie’s illness and imminent death), he starts to realize how unfulfilled he is with his materialistic life. Over the 14 weeks of their visits, Morrie stresses to him the value of personal relationships, which leads Mitch to become freer about expressing his emotions to loved ones.

Mitch Albom Quotes in Tuesdays with Morrie

The Tuesdays with Morrie quotes below are all either spoken by Mitch Albom or refer to Mitch Albom. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Broadway Books edition of Tuesdays with Morrie published in 2002.
The Curriculum Quotes

"Mitch, you are one of the good ones," he says, admiring the briefcase. Then he hugs me. I feel his thin arms around my back. I am taller than he is, and when he holds me, I feel awkward, older, as if I were the parent and he were the child.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Morrie Schwartz
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Syllabus Quotes

Instead, he would make death his final project, the center point of his days. Since everyone was going to die, he could be of great value, right? He could be research. A human textbook. Study me in my slow and patient demise. Watch what happens to me. Learn with me.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Morrie Schwartz
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

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Morrie cried and laughed with them. And all the heartfelt things we never get to say to those we love, Morrie said that day. His "living funeral" was a rousing success.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Morrie Schwartz, Charlotte
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Student Quotes

After the funeral, my life changed. I felt as if time were suddenly precious, water going down an open drain, and I could not move quickly enough.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker)
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

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Instead, I buried myself in accomplishments, because with accomplishments, I believed I could control things, I could squeeze in every last piece of happiness before I got sick and died, like my uncle before me, which I figured was my natural fate.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Janine
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Audiovisual Quotes

Do you prefer Mitch? Or is Mitchell better?

Related Characters: Morrie Schwartz (speaker), Mitch Albom
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Classroom Quotes

And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it.

Related Characters: Morrie Schwartz (speaker), Mitch Albom
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

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Life is a series of pulls back and forth... A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.

Related Characters: Morrie Schwartz (speaker), Mitch Albom
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:

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The First Tuesday Quotes

I knew there was plenty of food at the house, but I wanted to contribute something. I was so powerless to help Morrie otherwise. And I remembered his fondness for eating.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Morrie Schwartz
Related Symbols: Food
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Second Tuesday Quotes

Holding him like that moved me in a way I cannot describe, except to say I felt the seeds of death inside his shriveling frame, and as I laid him in his chair, adjusting his head on the pillows, I had the coldest realization that our time was running out.
And I had to do something.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Morrie Schwartz
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Fourth Tuesday Quotes

“I'm going to say it again,” he said. “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” He smiled, and I realized what he was doing. He was making sure I absorbed this point, without embarrassing me by asking. It was part of what made him a good teacher.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Morrie Schwartz (speaker)
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Fifth Tuesday Quotes

“If you don't have the support and love and caring and concern that you get from a family, you don't have much at all. Love is so supremely important. As our great poet Auden said, 'Love each other or perish.'”

Related Characters: Morrie Schwartz (speaker), Mitch Albom, Charlotte, Rob, Jon
Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Sixth Tuesday Quotes

Charlotte glanced again at my food and I felt suddenly ashamed. All these reminders of things Morrie would never enjoy.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Morrie Schwartz, Charlotte
Related Symbols: Food
Page Number: 102
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Professor, Part Two Quotes

Morrie observed that most of the patients there had been rejected and ignored in their lives, made to feel that they didn't exist. They also missed compassion—something the staff ran out of quickly. And many of these patients were well-off, from rich families, so their wealth did not buy them happiness or contentment.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Morrie Schwartz
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Seventh Tuesday Quotes

At seventy-eight, he was giving as an adult and taking as a child.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Morrie Schwartz
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Eighth Tuesday Quotes

When I give my time, when I can make someone smile after they were feeling sad, it's as close to healthy as I ever feel.

Related Characters: Morrie Schwartz (speaker), Mitch Albom
Page Number: 128
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Ninth Tuesday Quotes

I was thinking of this: A Teacher to the Last.

Related Characters: Morrie Schwartz (speaker), Mitch Albom
Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Tenth Tuesday Quotes

As my wife's loving voice filled the room, a crescent smile appeared on his face. And while his body was stiff as a sandbag, you could almost see him dancing inside it.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Morrie Schwartz, Janine
Related Symbols: Dance
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Eleventh Tuesday Quotes

“In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive, right?”
His voice dropped to a whisper. “But here's the secret: in between, we need others as well.”

Related Characters: Morrie Schwartz (speaker), Mitch Albom
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:

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If I could have had another son, I would have liked it to be you.

Related Characters: Morrie Schwartz (speaker), Mitch Albom
Page Number: 168
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Thirteenth Tuesday Quotes

Then I'd go for a walk, in a garden with some trees, watch their colors, watch the birds, take in the nature that I haven't seen in so long now.
In the evening, we'd all go together to a restaurant with some great pasta, maybe some duck—I love duck—and then we'd dance the rest of the night. I'd dance with all the wonderful dance partners out there, until I was exhausted.

Related Characters: Morrie Schwartz (speaker), Mitch Albom
Related Symbols: Food, The Natural World and Morrie's Hibiscus, Dance
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Fourteenth Tuesday Quotes

I blinked back the tears, and he smacked his lips together and raised his eyebrows at the sight of my face. I like to think it was a fleeting moment of satisfaction for my dear old professor: He had finally made me cry.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Morrie Schwartz
Page Number: 186
Explanation and Analysis:

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Conclusion Quotes

The last class of my old professor's life took place once a week, in his home, by a window in his study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink flowers. The class met on Tuesdays. No books were required. The subject was the meaning of life. It was taught from experience.
The teaching goes on.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Morrie Schwartz
Related Symbols: The Natural World and Morrie's Hibiscus
Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Professor Quotes

Eva would kiss them good-night. Morrie waited on those kisses like a puppy waits on milk, and he felt, deep down, that he had a mother again.

Related Characters: Mitch Albom (speaker), Morrie Schwartz, David, Charlie, Eva
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:

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Mitch Albom Character Timeline in Tuesdays with Morrie

The timeline below shows where the character Mitch Albom appears in Tuesdays with Morrie. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Curriculum
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Thebook begins with Mitch, the narrator, describing the final class of his old professorMorrie's life. He describes where it... (full context)
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The story jumps back in time to the spring of 1979, on the day that Mitch graduates from Brandeis University. Mitch describes the heat, the speeches, and the feeling that childhood... (full context)
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When the ceremony is over, Mitch finds his favorite professor,Morrie, and introduces him to his parents. Morrie embarrasses Mitch by telling... (full context)
The Syllabus
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...didn't matter to him how well he danced or how good he looked doing it. Mitch describes Morrie's previous weekly trips to a church for Wednesday night "Dance Free," and describes... (full context)
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Mitch describes the usual progression of ALS, and comments that while Morrie's doctors guess he has... (full context)
The Student
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Mitchgives his life story since graduation. He didn't keep in touch with Morrie or any of... (full context)
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While in New York, Mitch lived in an apartment below his favorite uncle, who falls ill with pancreatic cancer. Mitch... (full context)
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After his uncle died, Mitch began to feel as though he needed to move faster in order to make sure... (full context)
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Mitch met and married his wife, Janine, after seven years of dating. While he promised her... (full context)
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Mitch sometimes thought about Morrie, although he threw away mail from Brandeis University and lost contact... (full context)
The Audiovisual
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The text returns to Mitch, who is flipping channels on his television. As he pauses at one channel, he hears... (full context)
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In a flashback to 1976, Mitch describes the beginning of his first college class with Morrie. Mitch, noticing the small class... (full context)
The Orientation
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Mitch is in a rental car in West Newton, Massachusetts, on the phone with a radio... (full context)
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When Mitch finishes and finally gets out of the car, he hugs Morrie, who is covered with... (full context)
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They go inside and Morrie insists on feedingMitch. Morrie's nurse, Connie, brings them food and brings Morrie some pills. Morrie offers to tell... (full context)
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In another flashback to his freshman year of college, Mitch tells the reader how he tries to appear tough in order to compensate for having... (full context)
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Mitch begins to call Morrie "Coach," which Morrie likes. Morrie tells Mitch that he will be... (full context)
The Classroom
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Mitch and Morrie sit in the dining room of Morrie’s house while Connie answers the phone... (full context)
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Mitch feels uncomfortable with his own very apparent transformation from an idealistic college student to the... (full context)
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As Morrieasks questions about love and being human, Mitch struggles to answer them, wanting to show Morrie that he has indeed spent time thinking... (full context)
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Suddenly, Mitch remembers and says that he used to call Morrie "Coach," and Morrie smiles at the... (full context)
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After a long silence that Mitch finds embarrassing, Morrie begins to talk to Mitch about how modern culture leads people to... (full context)
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Morrie asks Mitch a haunting question—if he'd like to hear how Morrie is going to die—and then proceeds... (full context)
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Returning in a flashback to his college days, Mitch shares the beginnings of his friendship with Morrie. Morrie's passion for learning is contagious, and... (full context)
Taking Attendance
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A week after his visit with Morrie, Mitch flies to England to cover the Wimbledon tennis tournament. In his free time, rather than... (full context)
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Mitch compares his own culture of spending hours per day on the computer, doing nothing but... (full context)
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The morning after Mitch returns to Detroit after covering Wimbledon in London, his newspaper union decides to go on... (full context)
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In Mitch's second year of college, he and Morrie meet regularly just to talk. Morrie encourages Mitch... (full context)
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Morrie encourages Mitch to follow his dreams of becoming a professional pianist, rather than a lawyer as his... (full context)
The First Tuesday: We Talk About the World
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Mitch arrives at Morrie's house with a variety of foods, and the two sit at Morrie's... (full context)
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Noticing a pile of already-read newspapers, Mitch asks Morrie why he's bothering to keep up with the news. Morrie answers that he... (full context)
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In another flashback to the 70s, Mitch describes one of Morrie's classes. During the class, Morrie conducts an exercise on silence and... (full context)
The Second Tuesday: We Talk About Feeling Sorry for Yourself
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Mitchfinds that he enjoys his visits with Morrie, and begins to take some of Morrie's wisdom... (full context)
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Mitch arrives at Morrie's house with bags of foodafter stopping on his drive from the airport... (full context)
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When asked about it,Morrie tells Mitch that he does feel sorry for himself, but he only allows himself a few minutes... (full context)
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When Morrie takes a break to use the bathroom, Mitch picks up a newspaper and reads articles detailing several horrific deaths. When Morrie returns, Mitch... (full context)
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In 1978, Mitch is taking a course with Morrie, which Mitchdeems "the touchy-feely course." Mitch recounts a trust... (full context)
The Third Tuesday: We Talk About Regrets
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Mitch arrives at Morrie's house with his bags of food and a tape recorder. He tells... (full context)
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The narrative pauses and Mitch addresses the reader directly, saying that the tape recorder is more than nostalgia. Everyone—Morrie's family,... (full context)
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Returning to their conversation, Mitch says that the first time he saw Morrie on Nightline, he wondered what Morrie regretted... (full context)
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Morrie picks up on Mitch's hesitation while Mitch has his vision of dying at work, and then offers that the... (full context)
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On the plane ride home, Mitch resolves to be the best student he can be. On a legal pad, he makes... (full context)
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At the beginning of Mitch's senior year at Brandeis, he's only a few credits short of a Sociology degree, and... (full context)
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In Morrie's office at the end of Mitch's senior year, Morrie congratulates Mitch on completing his thesis. As Morrie flips through the thesis,... (full context)
The Fourth Tuesday: We Talk About Death
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...they consider the idea that everyone knows they're going to die, but nobody believes it. Mitch tells the reader that before he arrived at Morrie's house, Morrie wrote down a few... (full context)
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Pausing the narrative, Mitch says that back home in Detroit the strikers are getting ready for a holiday demonstration... (full context)
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...time, which then allows you to be more involved in life while you're alive. When Mitch asks how someone can be prepared to die, Morrie offers the Buddhist philosophy of imagining... (full context)
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The narrative steps back again from the conversation and Mitch gives a brief account of Morrie's religious situation. While Morrie was born Jewish, he became... (full context)
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...truth is that once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. When Mitch asks if Morrie thought about death before his diagnosis, Morrie replies that he didn't, recounting... (full context)
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Morrie struggles to put on his glasses and Mitch helps him, and the human touch brings Morrie immense joy. Morrie then tells Mitch that... (full context)
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Mitch and Morrie are in Morrie's office, and the newspaper Morrie's been reading has a photo... (full context)
The Fifth Tuesday: We Talk About Family
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...back-to-school week in Boston, and for the first time in 35 years, Morrie isn't teaching. Mitch thinks of football players who finally retire and have to deal with their first Sunday... (full context)
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Mitch wonders, if he were ill like Morrie but had no family, if the emptiness would... (full context)
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Morrie then asks Mitch about his own family, and Mitch confirms that he has an older sister and a... (full context)
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Mitch steps out of his conversation with Morrie to tell the reader about his brother, Peter.... (full context)
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After the death of his uncle,Mitch always believed that he was destined to die an awful and untimely death as well.... (full context)
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...any support from his family, insisting that he needed to deal with the cancer himself. Mitch felt immense guilt for not helping like he felt he should be, and also anger... (full context)
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Mitch recounts a childhood memory of sledding with Peter. They hit ice as they sled down... (full context)
The Sixth Tuesday: We Talk About Emotions
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Mitch walks up the driveway to Morrie's house, noticing the plants planted in front of the... (full context)
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When Mitch sits down with Morrie, Morrie's cough is violent and it takes Morrie a while to... (full context)
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...the emotions of fear and anxiety, he could detach and step away from the fear. Mitch thinks about how this idea relates to life and other experiences, and suddenly, Morrie starts... (full context)
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...detach so he doesn't leave the world in a state of fright. When Morrie asks Mitch if he understands, Mitch nods, but quickly adds that Morrie can't let go yet. Morrie... (full context)
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Mitch asks Morrie if he believes in reincarnation, which Morrie answers with a maybe. When asked... (full context)
The Professor, Part Two
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As the weeks go on, Mitch begins to read about how different cultures view death. He discusses a North American Arctic... (full context)
The Seventh Tuesday: We Talk About the Fear of Aging
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In the time since Mitch's last visit, Morrie's mobility has declined enough that he now has to have someone wipe... (full context)
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Later in the visit, Mitch asks Morrie about aging, recounting his own experience on the drive from the airport where... (full context)
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...that he embraces aging, saying that aging means growth and understanding rather than decay. When Mitch counters by asking why people wish they were young again, Morrie says that means those... (full context)
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Mitch asks Morrie if he envies younger, healthier people. Morrie admits he does, but mostly for... (full context)
The Eighth Tuesday: We Talk About Money
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This week, Mitch has brought a newspaper to show Morrie a particular quote from a media mogul who... (full context)
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...a good day after having an a cappella group perform for him the night before. Mitch tells the reader that while Morrie has always loved music, after his diagnosis his love... (full context)
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Mitch looks around, noticing that nothing in Morrie's home is new or upgraded. Despite that, Mitch... (full context)
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...others what you have to give in terms of time, concern, or skills, which leads Mitch to compare Morrie to a boy scout. Morrie gives examples like teaching computer skills at... (full context)
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Mitch pretends to take notes while ruminating that he's spent much of his life pursuing more,... (full context)
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Morrie asks Mitch why he thinks it's so important for Morrie to listen to the problems of others... (full context)
The Ninth Tuesday: We Talk About How Love Goes On
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By now, fall has officially arrived and Mitch notices the trees changing color as he drives from the airport. He says that in... (full context)
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...spending his days in his study so he can watch his hibiscus plant, saying to Mitch "when you're in bed, you're dead." (full context)
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Morrie tells Mitch that Koppel wants to do another show with him, but they want to wait a... (full context)
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Mitch thinks about his first thesis with Morrie and the encouragement he received from Morrie to... (full context)
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...he doesn't think he will be because of the close relationships he's had with people. Mitch comments that it sounds like a song lyric, but Morrie counters by asking Mitch if... (full context)
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Morrie has decided what he wants on his tombstone: “A Teacher to the Last.”Mitch agrees that it's a perfect phrase for the tombstone. (full context)
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Mitch takes a moment to step out of the narrative and talk about how Morrie makes... (full context)
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Mitch returns to the conversation. After motioning for Mitch's hand, Morrie says the problem is that... (full context)
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Mitch partly returns to his reverie, saying that Morrie was always ready to display emotion and... (full context)
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Stepping back in time, Mitch tells the reader the story of Morrie's father's death. Every day after dinner, Charlie would... (full context)
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Mitch continues to research different cultures' view on death, and he shares the views of the... (full context)
The Tenth Tuesday: We Talk About Marriage
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A few days prior to the visit, Mitch callsMorrie’s house to see how he’s doing. Morrie isn’t doing well—one cough sometimes lasts an... (full context)
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On Tuesday, Janine and Mitch sit with Morrie in his office. Mitch notes that Morrie seems to have more energy... (full context)
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...like he was going to faint. A nurse mistook Morrie for a doctor, and Janine, Mitch, and Morrie laugh. Mitch wonders how Morrie once fainted seeing someone else’s illness, but he’s... (full context)
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...his lunch is ready. Morrie is now only capable of eating liquids and pureed foods. Mitch continues to shop at Morrie’s favorite deli every week even though the containers of foodare... (full context)
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...sing for him, she begins to sing a 1930s love song written by Ray Noble. Mitch is surprised at Morrie’s ability to draw emotion from people, as Mitch expected Janine to... (full context)
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Mitch thinks about the struggles he sees his generation having with marriage, and asks Morrie why... (full context)
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...isn’t going to be there all night to provide care the way a spouse would. Mitch steps back from the narrative to talk about Charlotte. Morrie and Charlotte have been married... (full context)
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Back in the narrative, Mitch asks if there’s a rule to know if a marriage is going to work. Morrie... (full context)
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Mitch tells Morrie he has a question. He reminds Morrie of the Book of Job from... (full context)
The Eleventh Tuesday: We Talk About Our Culture
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Morrie is lying in bed, dressed in pajama bottoms, and Mitch is helping Morrie’s physical therapist pound on Morrie’s back to loosen the phlegm in his... (full context)
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As Mitch works on Morrie’s back, he notices how small Morrie is now, and how pale and... (full context)
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Later that day, Mitch and Morrie are discussing culture. Morrie says that people are only mean when they’re threatened,... (full context)
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Mitch and Morrie are holding hands, and Mitch squeezes Morrie’s hand. Mitch tells the reader that... (full context)
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Mitch asks Morrie why he didn’t move to a place where people are less selfish. Morrie... (full context)
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Later in the afternoon, Connie and Mitch go into a bedroom to watch the verdict of the O.J. Simpson trial. It’s a... (full context)
The Twelfth Tuesday: We Talk About Forgiveness
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The next Tuesday, Mitch is visiting Morrie. As they talk, Mitch is massaging Morrie’s feet, something he’d watched Morrie’s... (full context)
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Mitch’s question for the week is the importance of forgiveness. Mitch wonders if Morrie had a... (full context)
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Mitch continues to rub Morrie's feet, leaving Morrie alone with his thoughts. After a minute, Morrie... (full context)
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When Mitch questions Morrie's use of "lucky," Morrie reminds Mitch of the tension of opposites, and says... (full context)
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Morrie tells Mitch to look at him, and when Mitch glances up, Morrie's look is intense. Morrie says... (full context)
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...a tree, overlooking a pond. He says it's a good place to think. Morrie asks Mitch if he'll come and visit, and tell Morrie his problems. Mitch asks if Morrie will... (full context)
The Thirteenth Tuesday: We Talk About the Perfect Day
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When Mitch sits down for his visit, Morrie tells him about a book he read about death... (full context)
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Morrie coughs, and Mitch braces for something serious. Morrie's nights are even worse now, and he spends hours coughing.... (full context)
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Morrie tells Mitch that the night before, he had a terrible coughing spell and even started to feel... (full context)
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Morrie asks to see the hibiscus plant, and Mitch holds it up so Morrie can see. Morrie says that dying is natural, and the... (full context)
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...delays the progression of ALS will soon be on the market, but Morrie dismisses it. Mitch says that Morrie is realistic to a fault about his death. Mitch asks Morrie if... (full context)
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Mitch tries to imagine Morrie healthy, and realizes it's been 16 years since he saw Morrie... (full context)
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Before Mitch leaves, Morrie asks if he can ask about Mitch's brother. Mitch doesn't know how Morrie... (full context)
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Morrie says that he heard a nice story the other day and recounts it to Mitch. The story is about a happy wave in the ocean who then notices that the... (full context)
The Fourteenth Tuesday: We Say Good-Bye
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The day before, Charlotte called Mitch to tell him that Morrie isn't doing well, but Morrie still wants Mitch to come... (full context)
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As he waits in the living room, Mitch picks up the newspaper and reads about two children who had shot each other with... (full context)
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Mitch sees a hospice nurse sitting at the end of the hall, and then notices that... (full context)
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Morrie's speaking is labored and hard to understand, but he tells Mitch that Mitch is a good soul. Mitch replies that he doesn't know how to say... (full context)
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Mitch picks up his bag and kisses Morrie, holding the embrace longer than usual in case... (full context)
Graduation
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Morrie died the following Saturday morning. He fell into a coma two days after Mitch's last visit. Both Rob and Jon were there with Charlotte and Charlotte's cousin. Morrie's family... (full context)
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The following week, Mitch attends the funeral. It's a damp and windy morning, and the sky is the color... (full context)
Conclusion
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Stepping back from Morrie's story, Mitch tells the reader that he looks back at who he was before he reconnected with... (full context)
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A short while after Morrie's death, Mitch is able to reach his brother in Spain and the two have a long talk.... (full context)
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Stepping away from the narrative again, Mitch goes back to provide some more information on the book. Mitch says it was mostly... (full context)
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After Morrie's death, Mitchsays that he went through boxes of material from college and discovered a final paper from... (full context)
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Addressing the reader directly, Mitch asks if you've ever had a teacher who saw you as a raw, precious thing... (full context)
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...No books were required, and the subject was the meaning of life, taught from experience. Mitch says, finally, that the teaching goes on. (full context)