Title of the Novel : Tuesdays with Morrie
Author/Writer’s Name : Mitch Albom
Tuesdays with Morrie, a non-fiction novel, was first published in 1997 and republished to 45 languages in the years that followed. Specifically, it is the first among nine novels written by Mitch Albom as of today. Finding the true purpose of one’s life and living it to the fullest happily is the main focus of the book. This is shown through the narration of Mitch, the author, on his weekly visits on Tuesdays to Morrie Schwartz, his previous professor with a terminal illness. The novel is irrefutably life-changing and paradoxical for it possesses a simple story of a dying old man and his student, and at the same time, carries a profound moral that everyone can and should apply to their lives.
The novel begun by narrating a flashback of Mitchell or Mitch Albom’s graduation in college at Brandeis University. At the time, he became close to Morrie, one of his college professors, and promised to keep in touch with him. Unfortunately, he was not able to live up to his promise. When striving to become a famous pianist didn’t work, he instead invested all his time being a sports writer at Detroit and buried himself with accomplishments and work. While living a seemingly busy life, he accidentally came across “Nightline”, a TV show, featuring Morrie facing his death sentence of having Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Morrie, a former sociology professor, valued his time through connecting with people, engaging with the community, and finding the very meaning of his life. In spite of his doomed fate, he expressed his optimistic character by not wallowing in self-pity and depression. The “Nightline” hosted by Ted Koppel contributed in sharing Morrie’s journey to his death and his message to everyone in three interviews. Furthermore, through the help of Mitch, they commenced his last class about the meaning of life based on experience. In the course of 14 Tuesdays, witnessed by the withering hibiscus plant, they talked about regrets, death, money, love, culture, forgiveness, and saying goodbye among others. In one of their classes, Morrie talked about believing our culture as a great factor on our negative opinions of ourselves; hence, we should focus on creating a culture of our own. Moreover, being an agnostic, he freely borrowed ideas and principles from different beliefs. As the story progressed, so did the illness Morrie had and the forthcoming death of the hibiscus plant. In his last moments, Morrie told Mitch that death doesn’t hinder people for love will always carry on. Inevitably, he died serenely and surrounded by those he loved and cared for as he wished.
The book revolved around living life to the fullest through the classes of Morrie, an expertly developed character, despite his incapacitated state. The novel itself is already based on a true story and both main characters is depicted having typical lives facing problems every person eventually comes across in his/her life. For this reasons, the novel is easily relatable and understandable for adult readers. Commendably done, it tackled relevant issues in our society which aren’t given much emphasis with clear and true-to-life scenes. For example, the line “The culture we have does not make people feel good of themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things, and you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it” by Morrie delved upon the errors in our culture. Identically, the statement “I felt a little ashamed, because our culture tells us we should be ashamed if we can’t wipe our own behind” by Morrie exposed the fallacious standard of our culture. Coupled with the issue of people excessively taking interest in the media, the book certified its premises on issues of society. It included excerpts of citizens absorbing gossip, celebrity issues and the O. J. Simpson trial including the lines “people scooped up these tabloids, devoured their gossip”, and “there were people who surrendered their entire lunch hours watching it (O. J. Simpson trial), then taped the rest so they could watch more at night” where they spend a tremendous amount of time knowing about “other people’s drama” as Mitch wisely put.
Although this was where Mitch Albom, the author, transitioned from writing sports columns and news from his previous job to writing a novel, it is wonderfully written with the themes of his books concentrating mainly on morality thereafter. Tuesdays with Morrie did not contain much descriptive words, albeit his use of two symbols all throughout the story; however, he did not fail to send across the main ideas and purpose of the book and to interest the readers of the book.
Considering the nature of the novel being very popular over the years, there has been many reviews, critique papers, and analyses of it. Of course, there will always be two sides, whether it is satisfactory or not. Based on published reviews on the internet, good feedback greatly overpowered the negatives. Some of the reviews were done by UKessays, Sparknotes, Sure Essays, CNN, and YC Teen, with all favorable analyses. Whereas Kirkus Reviews had contrasting reviews.
Tuesdays with Morrie invokes empathy from all generations whether a person is in his/her eighties, part of the millennials or any age in between. In spite of the simplistic style the story is told, it will make one look at things in a new light. Moreover, it sheds light to rampant social issues we fail to notice. Through this book, one will understand the very essence of living. Ultimately, life-changing, inspiring, and informative are only three among myriad reasons why this novel should be read in one’s lifetime.