Morris Schwartz is a professor of philosophy. Unfortunately, he contracts ALS, a terminal disease that marks the beginning of his journey to the grave. Upon learning about the condition of his lecturer, Mitch Albom starts to visit him regularly on Tuesdays. He goes for the “one last class” as he puts it. Through the visits, Albom learns a lot from the philosophies that he gets from his professor. Some of the topics that they highly address include love, relationship, and forgiveness well as death.
Through this autobiography, several moral issues are evident in the book. Through the interaction between the Morrie and Albom, one can deduce several lessons about the meaning of life. Some of the moral issues that are seen in the book include: how to develop relationships with other people, how to love and to be loved, forgiveness, work and development, community and families, aging as well as death. Notably, Morrie is at his final stage in his life. He knows without doubt that he is going to die in less that in two years. This is simply because of the condition of his health as it has been weakened by ALS which is a terminal disease. However, he ethically states that he is not sorry for his condition. For instance, he was in a wheelchair as he had become feeble as a result of the disease. However, he used to laugh and share with his friends and relatives. He never isolated himself. He remarks that a disease especially a terminal one may be a turning point in one’s life, whereby you expect nothing but death. In such moments, decisions have to be made on what you want to leave after your death. In the case of Morrie, he decides to write several philosophies about life that has for years impacted people’s life positively.
Another moral issue that is addressed in the book is about relationships. Love is the driving force for relationships. In the book, we come across the two characters, Albom and his professor, Morrie. Before graduation, Albom writes “He asks if I will stay in touch, and without hesitation I say, off course. When he steps back, I see that he is crying”. This signifies the nature of relationship that had developed between Morrie and his student. For 16 years, the two did not communicate as each one of them concentrated on his activities. Albom was busy trying to establish his career. He also went under tormenting experiences in life such as the loss of his uncle whom they had communicated just a day before. Simply because of love, Albom watches a television program where Morrie is being interviewed. This compels Albom to travel from Michigan to Massachusetts every Tuesday.
Indeed, Albom was lucky to rediscover Morrie in the last few months before he died. Upon realizing that he was at the brink of death, Albom started visiting him every Tuesday. This resulted into the studies that Mitch terms them as final classes. One can therefore conclude that it was because of the relationship that was there between the two that made them rekindle their love. He was given lessons pertaining life and how to deal with various challenges in life. Albom terms Morrie’s last lessons as the last gift to the world.
For the various Tuesdays that Albom visits Morrie, they had different lessons to handle. In consecutive Tuesdays, they talk about the world feeling sorry for one and regrets. Lastly they talk about death which according to Albom was the shortest lesson. On the tenth Tuesday they talk about love. Albom comes along with his wife to meet Morrie. He states that commitment is important in marriage. This is one thing that many people struggle with. He maintains that culture is one aspect that is affecting the development of loving relationships. Most youths run into marriage and after six months they get divorced. He argues “They do not know who they are, how they can know who they are marrying?” For a marriage to live forever, people must have common values in life. This will help them to avoid trouble.
Critique of the Authors Approach
Despite the appealing nature of the book, Albom receives several critics towards his work. Some of these issues include the following: the book entails topics that are very hard to enjoy. This makes the writing dramatic and hard to understand. Although the writing is simple the content instills a feeling of sympathy to the reader for the condition under which Morrie is undergoing. The reader can clearly see how once the lively life of Professor Morrie is coming to end. Indeed, we can see him facing death depending on the descriptions that the writer gives. In addition, the tale that dominates the book is touching as well as admirable. He makes the reader develop sympathy for Morrie.
Another critic involves the fact that the writer includes several overstatements and dramatic issues. Albom is a journalist by profession. Therefore, he is criticized for his writing style in the field of literature. Morrie transcripts each chapter into audio tapes and edited materials making it look sophisticated. This is meant to invoke the emotional effect of the book to the reader. On the contrary, he takes a literature approach towards his interpretations. Upon reading the book, enthusiasm gradually fades due to the emotional effect that the tale incorporates. The writer also includes several incidences of death on his side and that of Morrie. For example, Morrie lost his mother and father. At the same time, he lost his uncle and mother. The way the writer brings out these happenings triggers a negative mood to the reader.
However, despite the dramatic impact in the book, the book entails some of the most important lessons in life. Some of these include: how to live happily with other people in this world, how to avoid regrets and self pity as well as how to approach death bravely.
Albom states that Morrie played a big role in helping him to rediscover himself. He reiterates that if it were not for his old professor, his life would be different. Through his professor, he learned how to avoid mistakes, to love, to forgive, to be wise in this world among other lessons. For this reason, he maintains that Morrie was his closest companion since the time they met in college. After graduation, the two separate. However, they later come into a reunion where their relationship develops despite the fact that Morrie was counting his days to the grave. He states that one of the greatest lessons that he learned from Morrie was the fact that in life there is nothing like “too late”. To Albom, Schwartz Morrie was not only a professor but a close teacher of real life issues. He used to attend his “lessons” every Tuesday where the final exam was not necessary.