Senior English hour 5
April 28 , 2004
Tuesday’s with Morrie Discussion Questions
1) I believe that Mitch changed for the better as the book progressed. In the first few chapters Mitch was a work-aholic and did not take anytime to stop and realize what was important to him. He spent all him time working and trying to accomplish more achievements but did not spend any enjoying them. As soon as Mitch found out that Morrie was dying, he started to gradually change. During the sessions they had together his ideas about what was important in life were completely different and his whole outlook on life was improved. Throughout the book Mitch felt ashamed for not being the same person Morrie once knew and tried to hide it, but I think that Morrie knew the whole time and was trying to show him he really hadn’t changed over the years.
2) I think that Mitch got most out of the Tuesday meetings he had with Morrie, and think both of them would agree. Both Mitch and Morrie gained a tramendious amount of knowledge and from each other but I think Mitch's whole life was changed because of the meetings. I think Mitch learned that love and happiness are most important in life and a unique friendship likes theirs would never die, even after they have. In the end, Mitch understood that life is what we make it, and it’s too short to be overly indulged in materialistic things.
3) I think Mitch would have kept returning every Tuesday even if the newspaper he works for didn't go on strike. He got a second chance with his college professor; his second father, and I don’t think he would of given that up for anything. I think that the strike gave him more of a reason to visit Morrie, because it helped him realize what was really important to him. At first I think he visited Morrie out of guilt but after being reunited with him and their friendship as strong as ever, he continued to visit because he truly cared about him.
4) Throughout the book, Morrie criticised Mitch about the way he lived his life, and how he looked at it. I think Morrie did an excellent job doing this, he wasn’t too hard on him, but wasn’t to easy either. The whole reason for Morrie critising him was to get him to stop and think about what was around him and question life itself. While doing this he gave positive insight and made suggestions. Morrie
5) I don’t think Mitch would have listened the same way if Morrie wasn’t dying. Death helps put things in perspective, it’s a rude awakener. Death can turn everyone into a all knowing speaker and everyone else into a listener. Sadly, it’s usually with death does one realize his mistakes and want to change. Morrie was trying to change this, by giving Mitch a head start on the road to a meaningful life. ALS is a crippling disease that physically disabilitaed Morrie but mentally strengthen him, and helped him guide the ones around him on the road the a success in a “meaningful life”.
6) Morrie’s death was a public even, but that’s how he wanted it. He felt that the more people that seen what he was going through and what he had to say, the more people he could help. Society is surrounded death, weather its a Movie or the news, but it isnt often someones death change can bring so much happiness to peoples lives. Usually public deaths are a form of punishment but on the other hand, saw this as an opportunity to help make society better. Morries death differs from others because his was more of an experiment rather than a lose of life.
7) Morrie thought of himself as a “bridge” because everyone could watch him die, but could also watch him live. He believed that “you can only start to live once you’ve learned how to die” and wanted people so see him die so they could learn from his life. He wanted people to get a preview of death and learn lifes lessons without having to die. With a disease like ALS people could witness the life and death of Morrie and hopfully learn from it.
8) Most people think the best way to die, is to die in your sleep. I think the reason they think it’s the ebst, is because it’s painless and the most innocent way of dying.What most people dont see is that they won’t get the chance to say goodbye this way. Morrie felt he was extremely lucky, because he had the chance to say goodbye to all of his loved ones. If he had the chance to pick how he wanted to go, I think he would of picked something not as disabilitating as ALS but would definatly want to be able to say goodbye to everyone. The path he traveled was what made all the difference, and I dont think he would want it any otherway.
9) Morrie still was hurt by his mothers death, even after 70 years. I think the reason he still held on this long and still was hurt by this, was because he was never able to express his feelings or talk to anyone about it. I handle loss difficultly, and tend to hang on for a really long time. Tuesday’s with Morrie helped me realize that death doesn’t have to be a loss, you can gain lifes lessons from it.
10) I think that through the process of aging, Morrie gained his wisdom, and if he was diagnosed with ALS at an early age, he wouldnt of took it the same way. Since he had lived a long full filling life he was able to accept his was going to die. If he was Mitches age, he wouldnt of had the same perspective on life and would of felt resentful. I think he would of been to young and nieve to understand what’s really important in life and wouldnt of been able to handle it. With his age came a greater wisdom, and sense of peace and understanding, which is why he could die in front of the world and see it as his “final class”.
11) The “effect of silence” was exercise Morrie used to show his students that in silence comes peace and society has a tendency to believe, if your not busy your usless or lazy. By doing this exercise with a group of friends I’ve learned that I don’t have to talk to “feel important”; rather, I can just listen and feel just the same.
12) I think that Mitch and Morrie were ment to be friends, and it was fate that they were reunited after 18 years. I think that it was a coincidence that one of the rare times Mitch isn’t caught up in the hustle and bustle of his life and watches TV, he see a television program about his old professor dying of ALS but still living his life how he wants to. Their friendship is something to admire, they can overlook the age barrier, and see past the illness and just enjoy each others company with one another.
13) The “tension of opposites” is when we wont to do one thing but we do another. We know we should say or do one thing but we choose to do the opposite. Our society is overrun by this. I personaly think the reason for this is because of comformaty. Even though we knowwhat we want to do, we are taught at a young age what is socialy acceptable, and because of this we choose to do what others want us to do and not what we want.
14) If I were to make a list of topics that I would want to ask Morrie, it would be very similar to Mitch’s but I would also add “happiness”, “love”, “comformaty”; and “religion”. I would want Morries insight and clarity of these as well as the topics Mitch named. Everyone faces these subjects sometime throughout life, and I would like to hear what Morrie has to say about them. I would want to know how Morrie felt about god and religion and how important it is to life to have faith. Morrie’s and my list would be very similar and I feel all of these topics are important to have a successfull life.
15) The book is a well written story that is inspirational to everyone who reads it. When i first read it, I felt sorry for Morrie and then came to realize his meassge and how he wanted to help. The flashbacks helped show me how even before he was diagnosed with ALS, his whole life was teaching people to be better “human beings”. The wording and tone of the story help it flow together and turn it from just a story to an experience. The free structure of not having numerical chapters helps define the meaning of the story, which is to understand life is what you make it, and it’s never too late to change it.
16) I dont think college students are missing out because they don’t have the same experiences as students from the ‘60s had. The times have changed dramtically since then but students today still have the same problems as the ones prior to them. They are still taught to think for themselves and help others. The ‘60s were a much more innocent time but I think students today are much stronger because of the lack of innocence.
17) I believe it id true that if you’ve found meaning in your life, you won’t want to go back, you’ll want to move forward and be prosperous. If you don’t have a purpose in what you do then your sense of worth decreases and a “meaningful life” cannot be achieved. I have yet to find my purpose in life but thats the reason I push forwards and strive to be better in anything I do. I believe in living for the future in not for the past.