If I were doing this assignment, I would focus on:
1. The death of Morrie's mother. Morrie internalizes his grief because he doesn't know how to share it with others. He is stuck in the denial stage of grieving here. Coping with her death eventually causes Morrie to become a member of a community later in life, namely a member of academia focusing on the social sciences.
2. The rejection of his father. His father would wait until Morrie was asleep before he entered the house. This disturbs Morrie, peaking his interest in psychology and counseling. More, it sparks in Morrie the need for communication and talk as therapy. His father's rejection only causes Morrie to be that much more of a caring and loving father.
3. The love of his stepmother. She re-instills a love of compassionate talk in the boy. She is a surrogate mother who teaches Morrie to be a reflective and caring educator. Without her, Morrie might have turned to anger and denial in the grieving process of his mother's death. Instead, he accepts her death and learns to trust another mother.