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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In Tuesdays with Morrie, how did Mitch change throughout the book?

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In Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch changes through Morrie's lessons and becomes able to understand and express his emotions. He realizes that maintaining relationships and helping others are essential to finding fulfillment.

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Mitch changes as he absorbs Morrie's lessons; he becomes more thoughtful, appreciative, and kind.

One of the biggest changes in Mitch is how he sees success and the value of the time he has. Mitch is a man who buries himself in work while ignoring the other things in his life; through his interactions with Morrie, he learns to value Janine and his family more. He learns to take the time for him instead of always being focused on growing his career.

Morrie also teaches Mitch to be more comfortable with uncomfortable moments. Morrie is clearly dying and that is something that is uncomfortable to Mitch; he also thinks about how he'd be uncomfortable talking to someone on the phone that he didn't know when his wife talks to Morrie with happiness and sincerity for the first time. He learns to be a more open and caring person through the lessons Morrie teaches him. A lot of this comes from the importance of finding value in a person's community and family.

Morrie tells Mitch that the most important thing is giving and receiving love. He tells him that it doesn't make you weak. He tells him that youth may have passed but now he gets to enjoy the time that he's at his current age. He tells him to find the beauty in what his life is now. Mitch learns to understand that and the other lessons Morrie teaches him and then applies them to his own life. This makes him a more spiritually rich person who is happier and more content with his life and the current time in his life.

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In the book, Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch does change as the reader progresses through the book. In the beginning, Mitch talked about how he had wanted to stay in touch with his college professor, Morrie Schwartz, but he was unable to make the time to do this. Mitch was caught up with the daily routines in life that included becoming successful, making money, attending sporting events, and becoming well-known. Mitch began to realize that these accomplishments didn’t bring him happiness. When he learns about Morrie’s illness, he wants to reconnect and reestablish the relationship he once had with him.

As he visits with Morrie each Tuesday for fourteen weeks, he begins to realize that the things he was pursuing in life, while still important, weren’t as important as other aspects of life. He begins to realize that some of his goals were superficial in nature. He grew to recognize that what was important in life included taking time for others, caring for his family, and being a dedicated, loyal friend and person. These ideas were more important than any game he covered, any degree he received, and any money or fame that had come his way.

Throughout his visits with Morrie, he was able to teach Mitch what was really important in life. Mitch learned these lessons, which helped him begin to change how he lived his life.

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Mitch does change as the story continues. He relates how he spent most of his youth trying to become a famous musician only to be disappointed by his failure to do so. Mitch's life changed after his favorite uncle died of pancreatic cancer before he turned fifty. Immediately after his uncle's death, Mitch returned to college and earned a degree in journalism. After graduation, he wrote for sports newspapers and magazines.

Eventually, his sports columns drew attention, and he became a popular sports television personality. Mitch recalls that his life changed after he found fame. He stopped renting and began purchasing homes. He also began buying stocks, eventually building a formidable portfolio of investments. Mitch admits that materialism took over his life, and he forgot all about the lessons Morrie taught him years ago. Mitch began to neglect his personal relationships.

After Mitch begins meeting regularly with his dying professor, his life begins to change. Mitch comes to appreciate the importance of cherishing those he purports to care for. He becomes more compassionate and more open to others. He also tells us how he contacted his estranged brother after Morrie's death and how he communicated his affection to his brother. 

So, Mitch is initially self-focused and dismissive of others. After he begins to meet regularly with Morrie, Mitch begins to change. He becomes more empathetic, considerate, and solicitous.

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Mitch does change as the book goes on (especially towards the end) because he is learning many life lessons from Morrie. Mitch really valued money and material things but he eventually learned from Morrie that these things are not what is important in life. Mitch has learned that he needs to live his life to the fullest. He realizes that he wasted a lot of time working and this needs to change. In addition, Morrie teaches him not to live a life that is full of vanity. Mitch admires Morrie and wants to live his life the way Morrie lived his-full of love and acceptance.

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How does Mitch change in Tuesdays With Morrie?

In Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch learns to be more fully human. Before he reconnected with Morrie, Mitch was preoccupied with his career as a sports journalist. He worked constantly yet in an unselfconscious way: he did not stop to question why he did what he did or even whether he enjoyed it. It was as if work was a distraction, something to do instead of feeling.

One of the things that surprises Mitch the most about Morrie when they meet is Morrie's lack of self-pity and his desire for human connection. Mitch expected someone dying of a debilitating illness to be bitter, but Morrie is just the opposite. He tells Mitch that he allows himself to cry and mourn for a few minutes in the mornings, but then he moves on, focusing on living purposefully and loving those around him. One of the first things Morrie teaches Mitch is that the key to happiness is the ability to give and receive love. This message is brought home to Mitch by Morrie's embrace of him when they first meet—even though they have not seen each other for many years, Morrie remains Mitch's "coach."

Another lesson Mitch learns from Morrie is that everyone is responsible for their personal "culture." Even though Morrie is very sick, he has created a caring culture around himself that is nurturing and adds to his feeling fulfilled. Mitch's work culture, on the other hand, works in the opposite way: all too often, it is a source of unhappiness. To Morrie, living in a way that makes you unhappy is a kind of irrationality:

"Dying," Morrie suddenly said, "is only one thing to be sad over Mitch. Living unhappily is something else. So many of the people who come to visit me are unhappy."

Mitch's time with his old teacher has a profound impact on him. He realizes that what Morrie has taught him is something that should be shared with the world, and the book he writes about Morrie is both a record of Morrie's teachings and the best example of turning love into action.

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