Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

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What is the significant relationship between the two characters in author Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie?

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Walter Fischer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Mitch Albom's 2009 nonfiction book Tuesdays with Morrie relates the author's weekly sessions at the bedside of his former academic mentor, Morrie Schwartz, a college professor dying from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. Mitch had committed to staying in touch with his former professor following graduation, but his professional travails and ambitions have diverted his attentions and the relationship becomes moribund, This changes when Albom, watching the television program Nightline one evening, sees Schwartz being interviewed. Putting aside his professional focus, Albom begins to visit his former professor every Tuesday until the latter's demise, each session a new opportunity to learn from the slowly dying Morrie the importance of embracing life and not getting caught-up in the drive for material gain. It is not, the dying old man emphasizes, money and material items that provide true happiness, but the loved ones that surround you and the pursuit of a life dedicated to something more than professional ambition.

The significance of the relationship between the two characters in Albom's book, the author and his former professor, lies in the important insights the former gains from the latter. Morrie Schwartz has come to terms with his mortality and rests easily in the knowledge that his life was lived well. He is surrounded by loved ones, and he has sublimated material ambitions to the eternal pleasures of an existence steeped in personal relationships and the pursuit of knowledge. In his closing remarks, Albom states the following:

I look back sometimes at the person I was before I rediscovered my old professor. I want to talk to that person. I want to tell him what to look out for, what mistakes to avoid. I want to tell him to be more open, to...

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