Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays with Morrie The Seventh Tuesday Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the time since Mitch's last visit, Morrie's mobility has declined enough that he now has to have someone wipe him after using the toilet. Morrie now depends on others to do everything for him except breathe and swallow. Mitch asks Morrie how he stays positive, and Morrie answers that he's an independent person and originally wanted to fight the dependency and felt ashamed of it. But Morrie told himself to ignore the culture that says to be ashamed, and now he finds that he enjoys the dependency, because he gets to feel like a child again. Morrie then says that he believes that nobody, especially not him, got enough of the complete care and love people receive from their mothers. Mitch realizes that this is why Morrie so enjoys when Mitch has to adjust his microphone or his pillows, saying that Morrie gives like an adult and takes like a child.
Morrie ties several things together in this speech. This new development in his decreased mobility leads him to nearly complete dependency on those around him. Then, by actively rejecting modern culture, he is able to connect the dependency to positive emotions regarding physical touch, and finally relate it back to family, love, and the importance thereof. This allows, as Mitch says, for Morrie to give like an adult, by providing emotional support for many, and take like a child, by primarily desiring complete care and physical affection.
Themes
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Culture and Religion Theme Icon
Movement and Change Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Later in the visit, Mitch asks Morrie about aging, recounting his own experience on the drive from the airport where he counted numerous billboards of beautiful, young models. Mitch confesses that he already feels over the hill. Morrie listens and answers that he knows that youth can be miserable, and young people aren't wise enough to understand life, and therefore he doesn't buy into the cultural emphasis on youth.
Morrie sees youth as undesirable because young people lack wisdom. This insight can provide further reason for Morrie to be a teacher, as he can help impart wisdom to young people as a professor.
Themes
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Culture and Religion Theme Icon
Movement and Change Theme Icon
Morrie offers instead 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 people haven't lived fulfilled lives. He suggests that if one battles getting older, they're always going to be unhappy because they're going to grow old and die eventually.
By rejecting modern culture and embracing aging, Morrie can find fulfillment in his advanced years. He sees the futility of yearning for youth or trying to stay young, and this is another form of his idea of detachment.
Themes
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Culture and Religion Theme Icon
Movement and Change Theme Icon
Mitch asks Morrie if he envies younger, healthier people. Morrie admits he does, but mostly for the fact that they can move and dance, and he practices detachment to deal with the envy. Morrie coughs, and Mitch asks if Morrie envies him. Morrie says that of course the old envy the young, but if you look back on life, it becomes a competition, and age isn't competitive. He adds that his current age, 78, is comprised of all the ages he's ever been, and he can't truly be envious of Mitch at 37 when Morrie's been that age himself.
The fact that Morrie’s only example of why he envies young people is related to movement underscores just how important dance and movement are to him. He doesn't even suggest young people's ability to eat solid food, for example—something he can no longer do. Dance is the ultimate way in which Morrie finds fulfillment.
Themes
Teaching and Learning Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Culture and Religion Theme Icon
Movement and Change Theme Icon
Get the entire Tuesdays with Morrie LitChart as a printable PDF.
Tuesdays with morrie.pdf.medium