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Tuesdays With Morrie

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Tuesdays With Morrie

The rejection of popular cultural morals in society is something very important to Morrie's way of life, but is indefinitely a difficult system to follow. By throwing out the typical way of life through grades and styles of dance, you are able to find happiness and fulfillment. In our day of age however, if you were to sporadically dance to no music in the center of someplace, you may be labeled as insane. However, Morrie provides lessons throughout the novel of tips and ways to reject popular culture to then be reborn with a self-created way of life including values, friends, and family.

The title character of Tuesdays With Morrie has spent most of his life as a professor of sociology at Brandeis University. He is an excellent teacher, and retires only after he begins to lose control of his body to ALS, also known as Lou Gherig's disease. The disease ravages his body, but, ironically, leaves his mind as lucid as ever. He realizes that his time is running out, and that he must

share his wisdom on "The Meaning of Life" with the world before it is too late to do so. Mitch serves as a messenger through which he can convey this wisdom to a larger audience which he reaches after his death by means of the book itself. He and Mitch plan for the book during his dying days, deeming it their "final thesis together". He is also able to reach a vast audience through his interviews with Ted Koppel, which are broadcast nation-wide on Nightline.

Morrie has an unmistakable knack for reaching through to the human essence of every individual he befriends. He is even able to deconstruct Koppel, who is a thick-skinned national celebrity. He does so by asking Koppel what he feels is "close to his heart". "'My heart?' Koppel studied the old man. 'All right,' he said cautiously, and he spoke about his children" (pg.20 Albom). Love is his main method of communication. Just as he reaches Koppel through his thick celebrity skin, he reaches Mitch through his professionalism and greed. He sees that Mitch has surrendered his sense of self to the beliefs of popular culture, and urges him to reclaim the kind, caring young man he once was at Brandeis. In telling Mitch stories of his life experiences and personal beliefs, he teaches him

to reject the corrupt mores endorsed by popular culture in favor of his personal, ethical system of values. He does not immerse himself in the media as most of America does, but instead invests himself in people and their potential to love.

"He'd do the lindy to Jimi Hendrix. He twisted and twirled, he waved his hands like a conductor on amphetamines, until sweat was dripping down the middle of his back" (pg.5). Morrie chooses to react against popular cultural norms in his acceptance of his own debilitating disease and imminent death.



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