What is the relationship between Mitch and Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie?

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The relationship between Mitch and Morrie in this gem of a book is deep and multi-layered, as all true relationships are. On the one hand, it is a relationship between a valued teacher and a receptive student. Morrie had been a favorite professor of Mitch’s at Brandeis University in Boston some sixteen years prior. In the intervening years, Mitch had moved to Detroit and become a journalist. The two men had lost touch, but Mitch returns to Boston to see Morrie when he learns of Morrie’s ALS diagnosis. At this point the relationship deepens into a mentor-mentored relationship, a father-son type relationship, and a relationship between an older man of wisdom and a younger man ready to absorb that wisdom during fourteen weeks of visits together on Tuesdays.

But the relationship is so much more than all that. It is a relationship of friendship, honesty, trust, acceptance, and love. It is a relationship built on an examination of a life fully lived that includes transcendence and flaws, and the passing on of the wisdom that comes with it. It is a passing on of what is important, what needs to be paid attention to, and what is just detritus. And, as Mitch learns, although life ends, relationships do not.

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Mitch and Morrie enjoy several different types of relationships over the course of their acquaintance.  Initially, Morrie was Mitch's college professor.  Although the two were quite close, they grew apart as Mitch moved from the Boston area to Detroit and started a hectic adult life as a sports writer.

Years later, Mitch sees Morrie on an evening news program.  Morrie has permitted cameras to film his late-stage battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Mitch initially reaches back out to Morrie to rekindle a friendship, and perhaps with an eye toward approaching Morrie from a journalistic standpoint.  As they meet on Tuesdays, however, Morrie transforms back into his old teaching role.  In this "class", however, Morrie is not teaching Mitch about a specific content area, but is, rather, imparting life wisdom that he has gained over the years.  It is this wisdom that forms the crux of the book.

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