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In Tuesdays With Morrie, Morrie's father is a father in name only. There is a division of labor in the house, and Morrie's parents marriage is segregated. Morrie's mother takes care of the kids, and Morrie's father works. Morrie's father does not even come in the house until Morrie and his brother are asleep. Child-rearing is woman's work, according to the traditional style of parenting that Morrie's father adopts.
Luckily, Morrie's father knows that the women he married are incredible mothers. After Morrie's mother died, Morrie's father marries Ava who is a godsend to the young, grieving Morrie. Morrie recounts the lessons he learns from her:
"The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." (52)
Morrie teaches Mitch not to be like his father. Even though Mitch does not have kids, Morrie urges him to open up to his girlfriend and to others in general. Morries says that communication is key to cultivating relationships. So, even Morrie's father does not have a positive aspect on Morrie, Morrie learns by his negative example to never suppress feelings and never be too ashamed to talk.
Morrie's father was an immigrant whose inability to read English caused it to fall to Morrie to read the news in the telegram that his mother had died. Additionally, so that Morrie's brother would not know that bis stepmother was not his real mother, his father told Morrie to never mention his real mother. Both of these incidents - the act of knowing and being the one to share the news oin the one hand, and the act of keeping a secret, led Morrie to a different perspective in life as to the importance of relationships. When his mother is gone, she is gone. He does not, then, wish to lose his connection to Mitch, a student in who he sees aspects of himself. Also, Morrie's gift of language is something that he has that his father did not have because of the fact that he could neither read, write, nor speak English. However, he came to America to give his family a better life, and that is what Morrie picked up on the most - the amount of effort that goes into making something of your life, but not to lose sight of the fact that sharing your life with someone is even more important. You can be a success or a failure financially, but you are destined to fail if you don't have meaning in your life. That meaning is defined by who you are and how you relate to the world around you.
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