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According to Albom, Lou Gehrig's (ALS) is a terminal disease. In his book, “Tuesdays with Morrie”, Albom uses this condition to signify the turning points in our life and justify various issues that human beings go through in life. These are seen in the lessons that he undertakes on Tuesdays with his old professor, Morrie who is in his later days as he is suffering from ALS.
A condition such as a disease especially a terminal one may mark the beginning of change in life. However, one has to accept the reality and move on. Decisions have to be made depending on the nature of the condition. Thus, Albom uses Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), a terminal disease to exemplify issues pertaining life. These issues are stipulated in the “lessons” that he had with Morrie for about fourteen Tuesdays. Most of the issues were from real life experiences.
Analysis of the Topic
After 16 years of separation, Morrie and Albom finally come into a reunion. The major cause of their reunion is simply because, Albom sees Morrie on a television being interviewed. Unfortunately, Morrie is at this time suffering from a terminal disease, ALS. Albom uses this statement to argue various issues about life.
Thus, the prevailing topic in the book, "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Albom is relationship and love. It is love that makes Albom to commute every Tuesday to see his dear lecturer in his later days. He argues that one of the most crucial aspects in life is to learn how to love and how to let love in.
For fourteen Tuesdays that Albom visits Morrie, all the lessons in one way or another addresses the virtue of love. It entails an ethical issue where acute decisions have to be made. The nature of crises will however determine which direction our life will take. His dear lecturer is suffering from the disease as he learns from the television interview. The Tuesdays with Morrie explores various aspects about our lives. For example, Albom addresses the struggle that exists between our desires and what we cannot have. Understanding of ones identity is paramount as it helps one to solve the crises and accommodate change. It calls for therapeutic interventions where we have to take a particular approach in our lives.
Symbolically, ALS is like a lit candle. It is characterized by melting of nerves beginning with legs moving up. With time it leaves you like a pile of wax. One looses his control of muscles finding it hard to stand. In short, ALS is a fatal disease that takes a maximum of five years from the day one contracted the disease. This is the condition that Morrie was going through.
Nevertheless, as Albom puts it, Morrie made a profound decision of not sitting back and consoling himself to the grave. In deed, he was not ashamed to die. He resolved to take death as final project for the days he remained with. He embraced a moral value that everyone is going to die but what matters is how one utilizes his or her days. Moreover, the "Tuesdays with Morrie" also analyses historical, political as well as legal aspects. In the first lesson with Albom, Morrie deliberates several issues affecting the world based on their historical development.
A Summary and Discussion of the Ethical or Moral Issues
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 ones life, whereby you expect nothing but death. In such moments, decisions have to be made on what you want to leave when you die. 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 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.
In deed, 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 to visit him on every Tuesday. This resulted into 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 to 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 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.
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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 the once lively life of Professor Morrie is coming to end. In deed, 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 to 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 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 was 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 meet 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” on every Tuesday where final exam was not necessary.