Tuesdays With Morrie Questions and Answers
by Mitch Albom

Tuesdays With Morrie book cover
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What is Morrie's perspective on self-pity?  

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Madeleine Wells eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Morrie is adamant about spending the last days of his life on his own terms. So, despite his illness, he refuses to let self-pity overwhelm him. His perspective on self-pity is that it is a double-edged sword: while a little indulgence is necessary at intervals, too much self-pity can be emotionally destructive.

In other words, Morrie accepts the limitations of his mortality but recognizes the importance of a healthy atittude towards impending death. In the book, Morrie tells Mitch that he prefers to focus on living life to the fullest. Because of his perspective, Morrie is able to enjoy every one of his interactions with others.

Morrie's approach towards self-pity is largely responsible for his strong connection to Mitch. During their conversations, Mitch comes to realize what makes Morrie so special. His professor is unequivocally interested in people as individuals, and he always listens to them "without trying to sell them something, pick them up, recruit them, or get some kind of status in return." Morrie's recognition of the human need to be appreciated and accepted is part of what draws others to him. 

While Morrie recognizes his own fears about his illness, he revels in the opportunity to spend time with those he cares about. Additionally, he also enjoys passing on his philosophy about life to Mitch. In all, Morrie's perspective on self-pity testifies to his courage and the strength of his character.

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mkcapen1 | Student

The book "tuesdays with Morrie" is based on a series of visits that a young man, Mitch Albom, has with his former professor, Morrie Schwartz.  Morrie is older now and is suffering and dying from ALS.  He is unable to walk and has to use a wheelchair.  He has to endure pain and discomfort daily.  He is dependent on someone to take him to use the bathroom.  Mitch asks Morrie if he feels sorry for himself.

Morrie answers him honestly explaining that he does in the mornings at times.  He says that he moves his appendages around to see what abilities he has lost and then he mourns them.  He tells Mitch he lets himself cry and then he stops.  He does not allow himself any more than that amount of pity.

"Mitch, I don't allow myself any more self-pity than that.  A little each morning, a few tears, and that's all."(57)

He also tells Mitch that watching his body wilt is horrible, but it is also wonderful because he gets to tell people goodbye.  His attitude is very giving and positive despite his condition.

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