Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays with Morrie The Audiovisual, Part Two Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Because of the reception for the first Nightline show, Koppel returns to Morrie's house for a follow-up interview. This time, when the crew enters Morrie's house, they already feel like family, and Koppel is warmer. He conducts the interview in his shirt and tie, forgoing his suit jacket; Morrie wears a long-sleeved shirt despite the 90-degree weather outside. To warm up before the interview, Koppel and Morrie share stories about their childhood experiences with each other.
Koppel's transformation shows what an effect Morrie has had on him since their last interview—Koppel is less businesslike, and treats Morrie more as a friend. Morrie, on the other hand, is in obvious decline, as evidenced by needing to wear a long sleeved shirt despite very hot weather.
Themes
Movement and Change Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
When they begin filming, Koppel remarks that Morrie looks and sounds fine, and Morrie agrees. Koppel inquires how Morrie knows that he's going downhill, to which Morrie responds that nobody but himself can know, but he is indeed declining. As he speaks, however, it becomes obvious that he's not waving his hands freely, and some words and sounds seem to be difficult to pronounce.
The depth of Morrie's decline is developed further, as now we see that his movement is affected as well as his ability to regulate temperature.
Themes
Death Theme Icon
Movement and Change Theme Icon
Morrie says that when he has visitors, he feels really good, and that his loving relationships maintain him. He admits to feeling depressed other days, and feeling dread when he sees that he's losing control of his hands, or that speaking or swallowing are becoming difficult. Morrie says the swallowing doesn't bother him, but his ability to speak and use his hands are essential parts of him, and are ways in which he gives to people. When Koppel asks how Morrie will “give” when he can't speak, Morrie shrugs and suggests that people will have to ask him yes or no questions. The answer makes Koppel smile.
Morrie is expressing fear that once he loses his ability to speak and move, he'll no longer be able to participate in his culture and community. This underscores just how connected to his community Morrie feels. We also understand explicitly how Morrie connects to his community—by giving.
Themes
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Culture and Religion Theme Icon
Movement and Change Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Koppel asks Morrie about Morrie's friend, Maurie Stein, who is going deaf. Koppel wonders what it would be like for the two men to sit together, one who can't speak and one who can't hear. Morrie replies that they'll hold hands and feel love passing between them. He says that after 35 years of friendship, they don't need speech or hearing to feel love.
Despite his fear of not being able to participate in his community as the disease progresses, Morrie's answer here further reinforces just how connected he is to that community.
Themes
Movement and Change Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Get the entire Tuesdays with Morrie LitChart as a printable PDF.
Tuesdays with morrie.pdf.medium
As the interview draws to a close, Morrie reads one of the letters he received after the first Nightline interview aired. It is from a teacher who teaches a special class for children who have lost a parent. After reading the letter, Morrie reads his reply to her. He wrote that he was very moved by her letter, and feels her work is very important. He says that he lost a parent very young, and at that point begins to choke up and cry. He continues reading, saying that he lost his mother when he was a child and it was very hard for him. He wishes he'd had a group like the teacher’s, and he would've joined because he was so lonely. Koppel interjects, asking Morrie if he still feels the pain of losing his mother 70 years ago. Morrie confirms that he does.
Bringing in Morrie's mother begins to develop Morrie's character independent of his relationship or comparisons to Mitch. It also shows how deaths other than his own have affected Morrie—losing his mother was such a profound loss that he still can cry about it 70 years later. His desire to have been part of a group like the one led by the teacher in the letter also alludes to the fact that Morrie hasn't always had such a strong community as he does now.
Themes
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Movement and Change Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon