illustration of author Mitch Albom sitting next to Morrie Schwartz, who is lying in a bed

Tuesdays With Morrie

by Mitch Albom

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Discuss Morrie's struggle with death in "Tuesdays With Morrie".

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In Tuesdays With Morrie (1997), the titular character's physical deterioration plays out in the form of a sequence of dialogues with the first-person narrator.

To think of it in terms of a struggle, though, is inaccurate. Morrie's attitude is closer to capitulation or acceptance—he can even be said to embrace death. There is no conquest. Or, if there is, it takes place privately. Morrie's outward persona quite plainly acquiesces to the processes working toward his decline. He ceases to resist and allows the linearity of existence to carry him on its tide. It is as if he walks arm in arm with death and revels in the love that surrounds him. During Morrie's final months, love emerges as the single most important thing in existence.

This attitude is discombobulating for the narrator, whose life heretofore has been one of aspiration and acquisition. At first, he suffers on Morrie's behalf: he is ashamed to see a man of such high esteem lose control of his bowels, or in any sort of debilitating state. Soon, however, he grasps the essence of Morrie's path and sees the triumph in it.

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