When Mitch arrives at Morrie’s for the first time, what is he not proud of? Why does he struggle with this first meeting?
When Mitch arrives at Morrie's for the first time, he's not proud of the fact that he never kept his promise to keep in touch with his favorite professor. So, he sits in the car and feels guilty; he struggles to mentally prepare himself to meet his ailing professor.
Mitch realizes that he owes his professor more gratitude for his past kindnesses and patience towards him. Because he has failed in this area, he feels ashamed that he has let Morrie down. So, in a bid to mitigate his anxiety, Mitch decides to finish his conversation with the television producer before he approaches Morrie.
The eventual reunion between Morrie and Mitch five minutes later is fraught with great emotion. Morrie hugs his former student fiercely, demonstrating that his affection for Mitch has not dimmed. This makes Mitch feel even more guilty, as he remembers how close they were when he was still in college. Additionally, Mitch also struggles with the feeling that he is no longer the idealistic young person Morrie once knew. For the last few years before this first meeting, Mitch has let fame and fortune cloud his priorities; he desperately hopes that Morrie doesn't find out how far he has veered from the person he used to be:
I remembered graduation day, the briefcase, his tears at my departure, and I swallowed because I knew, deep down, that I was no longer the good, gift-bearing student he remembered. I only hoped that, for the next few hours, I could fool him.
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