The novel, Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom is about a reconciliation of a bond between a college former professor and student. The student, Mitch, was one of Professor Morrie’s favorites because they always challenged each other and connected well. At graduation, Mitch gives Morrie a briefcase as a gift and promises that he will visit his sociology professor Morrie and stay connected; however, Mitch states that years after graduation he was “hardened into someone quite different from the strutting graduate who left campus that day” (Albom 14) and he becomes so busy with his life and consumed with his career that he never finds the time and eventually it becomes just another thought in the back of his mind. In the present, Mitch’s life consist of constantly working trying to earn as much money as possible, something he once told himself he would never do. He is married to a kind young woman named, Janine, that he loves a lot, but since he is always working he never finds the time to try to make their relationship work.
One day, Morrie is interviewed at a talk show on live television, and Mitch happens to flip to the channel right on time. During Morrie’s interview he mentions how he is dying from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a condition that affects the nerve system, connecting to the spinal cord and brain cells. It’s a slow but powerful illness. Something Morrie is undeserving of, as he is portrayed as a happy and thoughtful old man. This disease can help be prevented but once obtained it is fatal. When Mitch realizes that his favorite professor is dying he reaches out to him and sets up a day to meet. Nervous about their first encounter in nearly two decades, Mitch sits in his car, anxious and scared about what he’s about to face with his Professor.
However, Morrie is the type of person to live in the moment, when he speaks to someone he makes them feel like the most important person in the world because he is genuinely focused on the person and what they have to say. This made their reconnection smooth, as both were eager to converse, discuss, debate, and share with each other as they did 20 years prior. On this day Morrie tells Mitch that he will teach him the life lessons that he has learned and experienced throughout his life as a Doctor of Social Psychology and an Author. They were to discuss things like marriage, money, careers, love, and society in general. At first they met on days that Mitch’s schedule allowed him to, but then they settled upon the tradition of meeting every Tuesday afternoon. Morrie loved being a teacher and wanted one last lecture so he considered this his final course. So from then on, every Tuesday Mitch would learn a different life lesson in order to better his life and reconnect with his true self again until Morrie stops fighting his battle with ALS and takes his last breath.
This novel was turned into a movie that was produced by Oprah Winfrey. Mrs. Winfrey did a great job producing the movie based off the book. I enjoyed watching the movie, Tuesdays with Morrie. To no surprise, the movie was very similar to the book. The book and the movie follow very similar lines and there are times when the wording is exactly the same, but there were differences. In the book, Mitch is married, but for some reason in the movie he isn’t, instead he has a girlfriend and the relationship between them takes up much more of the movie than it does of the book, where she is only brought up when the subject of love or marriage is discussed, and Mitch and Janine only share less than 5 scenes together. In fact there is a lot more in the movie that involves Mitch when he isn’t with Morrie. Almost the entire book takes place in Morrie’s home, you don’t get to see much of Mitch’s life at all, instead he provides the reader with smaller background information on his life as the book goes on based on what he and Mitch talk about. These scenes were most likely added to dramatize the movie and to allow the viewer to empathize him by giving the audience a glimpse into his work and home life.
In addition to this, scenes from the movie were not in the same chronological order as they were in the book, as well as some of the things that Morrie said and did, like when Morrie tells Mitch about his parents. This happens much later in the movie than they did in the book. However, seeing the movie gave me a different perspective of Morrie and Mitch’s friendship, and of Morrie’s disease because it was brought to life and filled with emotions.
Watching Morrie get sicker over time with each visit made a bigger impact than I thought it would, since I was not affected by the book. The acting in the movie was great. Seeing Morrie not being able to walk, getting his back punched, and having to be helped in bed really affected me and made me emotional. Visually seeing how sick ALS makes someone made it almost brutal to watch, especially with some of the more disturbing scenes. As each Tuesday passed by, I had a hard time watching, because Morrie sickness was so real visually it made my stomach upset in a way that words could never do. This must have been hard for his family, friends, and even care takers to look at everyday. However, Morrie himself looked at the more positive side to his situation. “. . . . It’s horrible to watch my body slowly wilt away to nothing. But it’s also wonderful because of all the time I get to say goodbye.” (p. 57) This twist of how Morrie saw his disease surprised and changed how mitch thought.
The movie captures the attention of the audience through the emotional connection that’s builded between these two men and the way you can see Morrie’s life slowly come to an end in each scene.I could actually see what the disease was doing to the innocent man instead of picturing it in my head because I had never seen, dealt, or experienced this illness in person.
We must love one another or die” was a quote that really stuck out to me. Mitch repeated it later when Morrie said it the first time and it really made me emotional. It questions what people loves. Do we love each other in America? Do we love our relatives? Do we really love our friends and neighbors? This is one thing that we all need to work on. I will remember this quote for a long time. Mitch not only impacted Mitch, but he impacted everyone else in the world.
In both Morrie dies the same way with the same people around him. At the beginning of this story, Mitch is so consumed in his job that he doesn’t give any attention to anything else but his column. As the story progresses, Morrie starts to lighten up on the job and work towards a relationship with Morrie. Having this relationship with Morrie helps his relationship back home with his girlfriend who is getting tired of Mitch not giving her the attention she deserves. Since so many of Morrie’s life lessons were about love, Mitch began to take the hint to turn his focus over to Janine.”We must love one another or die”. Morrie wanted Mitch to get married and experience something that he has been missing out on. Janine and Morrie both play huge parts in Mitch’s life in both the movie and the book. The movie used a lot of the same lines used in the book such as Morrie’s aphorisms. One last thing that the book and movie had in common was that each time Mitch went to visit Morrie he could tell Morrie was getting worse and worse.
The movie is never going to have as much detail as the book did, but they did a good job making the movie as close as possible to the book. The book covered a lot more aspects of the story than the movie did, and the book focused on the bigger more important parts. There were a lot of main points that the book and movie were alike. Even though the movie did a great job making the book come to life, the movie and book had a couple differences. The movie never brought up Mitch’s brother, who in the book is dying from cancer and chooses to take a different outlook on his life from Morrie by isolating himself from his friends and family. Another thing is in the movie, they didn’t talk about Mitch as child like they did in the book.
In the movie, they show Janine giving the proposal ring back to Mitch in the airport, but in the book, they never mentioned that since their relationship wasn’t a major theme in the novel. In addition to the movie dramatizing the book through Mitch’s love life, in the book, they never talked about Mitch’s breakup with Janine and how he went to her studio and tried to fix it. Mitch’s relationship with Janine was way more part of the movie than the book along with his relationship with Morrie. Where as the book mainly focus’ on the reconnection and bond between Mitch and Morrie. Some movies that are made from a book are most of the time completely different, but this movie resembled the book perfectly with some hollywood dramatization. The movie covered the most important parts of the book, which made it a success.
Albom,Mitch,Tuesdays with Morrie,USADouble Day,1997
Oprah Winfrey Presents Tuesdays with Morrie. Visual Entertainment Group, 2012. DVD.