Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom | Summary, Themes & Synopsis

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About the Book- Tuesdays with Morrie

Book NameTuesdays with Morrie
AuthorMitch Albom
Publication Date1997
SettingWest Newton, Massachusetts, USA
ProtagonistMitch Albom
AntagonistALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
Major ThemesThe value of life, love, and compassion
Point of ViewFirst-person
ToneReflective, philosophical
Writing StyleConversational, easy-to-read


Mitch Albom writes about his connection with old college professor Morrie Schwartz in his book “Tuesdays with Morrie.” This book has been published in more than 40 languages, gained popularity quite quickly.


  • Morrie Schwartz: The main character of the book, a former sociology professor at Brandeis University who was diagnosed with ALS. He becomes Albom’s mentor and friend, teaching him valuable life lessons in their Tuesday meetings.
  • Mitch Albom: A former student of Morrie’s who reconnected with him after a protracted absence and eventually became a friend and student.
  • Charlotte: Morrie’s wife, who is devoted to taking care of him throughout his illness.
  • Janine: Albom’s wife, who at first finds it difficult to comprehend his obsession with Morrie but soon comes to respect and like him.
  • Ted Koppel: A journalist who interviews Morrie on “Nightline,” bringing Morrie’s tale to the public’s notice.
  • Norman: A close friend of Morrie who comes to see him during one of the Tuesday gatherings and shares his outlook on life and death.
  • The Schwartz family: Morrie’s children and grandchildren, who visit him and provide support during his illness.

Watch Full Book Summary of “Tuesdays with Morrie” on YouTube

Summary-Tuesdays with Morrie

In the beginning of the book, sixteen years after graduating from college, Albom describes his final contact with Morrie. Albom had pledged to keep in touch with Morrie, but his personal and professional lives had taken priority. When switching between television stations one evening, Albom noticed Morrie on the news talking about his sickness and the lessons he had taken away from it. After Albom made the decision to go see Morrie, their regular Tuesday meetings got underway.

After seeing Morrie on television, Mitch contacts his beloved professor and travels from his home in Detroit to West Newton, Massachusetts, to meet with him. As Morrie arrives at his house, Mitch waits to greet him because he is on the phone with his production company decision he would later come to regret.

Morrie had lived in abject poverty as a youngster. Morrie and his younger brother were left without the emotional and material support they needed from their father, Charlie, who was cold and callous. As he is the only member of his family who can read English, Morrie, who is eight years old, is forced to read the telegram informing him of his mother’s passing. Morrie and his brother receive the love and care they require from Eva, the wonderful lady Charlie marries.

Also, Eva instills in Morrie a passion for reading and a drive to pursue a higher education. Charlie, however, is adamant that Morrie conceal the fact that his mother passed away because he wants Morrie’s younger brother to think that Eva is his true mother.

Young Morrie finds this requirement to conceal his mother’s passing to be a horrible emotional burden, and he saves the telegram as evidence of his mother’s existence for the rest of his life. Morrie seeks for love and attention from his family and friends in his old age since he was starved of it as a youngster. As he draws closer to passing away, Morrie claims to have returned to a metaphorical infancy and makes a sincere effort to “enjoy being a baby again.” He and Mitch frequently hold hands throughout their sessions.

Morrie instructs Mitch to reject popular culture and instead forge his own identity. In contrast to the mores that popular culture promotes, the individualistic culture that Morrie wants Mitch to build for himself is one that is based on love, acceptance, and human kindness. Morrie asks Mitch to put aside his greed, selfishness, and superficiality because they are the foundation of popular culture. Morrie emphasizes that Mitch and he must face age and death since they are both unavoidable.

Mitch takes Janine to see Morrie one Tuesday. Janine, a talented singer, is willing to perform for Morrie. Although rarely singing, Janine decides to do so, and Morrie is moved to tears by her voice. Morrie regularly encourages Mitch to cry and does so himself. The pink hibiscus plant that Morrie has on the window ledge in his study is deteriorating much as he is. Mitch becomes more and more aware of the evil in it as the nation is inundated with news of violence and hatred by the media. The O.J. Simpson murder trial is one such example and the way it was handled has considerably heightened racial tensions between whites and blacks.

As part of his preparation for writing Tuesdays With Morrie, which they both describe to as their “last thesis together,” Mitch tape-records his conversations with Morrie. The book will enable Morrie to fulfill a promise he makes to Mitch that he will share his stories with the world.

As this is going on, Mitch makes an effort to get back in touch with his Spanish-residing brother Peter at Morrie’s suggestion. Peter, who has been battling pancreatic cancer for many years, has consistently insisted on going it alone and has consistently rejected support from his family. The only response Mitch receives from his brother is a curt message in which he says he is well and reminds Mitch that he does not want to talk about his condition. After many phone calls and voicemails from Mitch to his brother, Peter, Peter only responds to one of his calls.

After Morrie dies away and the book draws to a conclusion, Albom thinks back on the lessons he learned from his Tuesday meetings. Talking to Morrie changed his perspective on life and helped him focus on what actually important, according to what he says. The author declares, “I will never forget Morrie’s lessons.”

The ending of “Tuesdays with Morrie” is a reminder that life is precious and fleeting. It is also a reminder that we can learn from even the most difficult experiences. Morrie’s wisdom and courage have inspired millions of readers around the world, and his legacy continues to live on through Mitch Albom’s book.

Symbolism and Motifs

The importance of Tuesdays is one of the recurrent themes in “Tuesdays with Morrie.” The importance of Albom and Morrie’s weekly encounters is emphasized by the fact that each chapter of the book is given a different Tuesday as its title. The recurrence of Tuesdays also highlights the passage of time and the inevitable demise of Morrie.

In the narrative, food is also employed as a symbol. During their Tuesday sessions, Morrie and Albom frequently share meals since they both like cooking. Sharing food serves as a metaphor for interpersonal connections and how sustaining they can be.

The sayings and quotations that Morrie and Albom exchange also form a key theme in the book. Simple, memorable lines that remain with Albom and the readers are condensed versions of Morrie’s wisdom. Several quotations, including:

  • “love each other or perish”
  • “the most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in”
  • “accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do” are powerful reminders of the lessons Morrie imparts throughout the book.

Style and Tone

Albom wrote “Tuesdays with Morrie” in a casual and comparable style. In the first-person account of the book, Albom describes his contacts with Morrie. The reader may witness the conversations between Albom and Morrie thanks to the close-up perspective, which also helps the characters arouse strong emotions in the reader.

The book has an emotional and reflective tone. The imminent death of Morrie forces Albom to face the truth and this sense of loss and anguish infuses the whole book. Albom and the reader are given comfort and direction by Morrie’s lessons, therefore the tone is also upbeat and optimistic.

Historical and Cultural Context

The neurodegenerative disorder condition known as ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, destroys nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. A substantial portion of the book is devoted to Morrie’s ALS diagnosis and treatment, which illuminates the impact that this fatal condition has on sufferers and their families.

The book was released in 1997, a year when American culture was debating problems of mortality and spirituality. Since people connected with the book’s themes of love, family and the purpose of life, “Tuesdays with Morrie” immediately became a bestseller.

About the Author

NameMitch Albom
BirthdateMay 23, 1958
BirthplacePassaic, New Jersey
EducationBachelor’s degree in Sociology, Brandeis University; Master’s degree in Journalism, Columbia University
ProfessionAuthor, journalist, screenwriter, playwright
Notable works“Tuesdays with Morrie,” “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” “For One More Day,” “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto”
AwardsEmmy Award, Associated Press Sports Editors’ Red Smith Award, National Headliner Award, Best Sports Story of the Year Award


What is Tuesdays with Morrie about?

In his memoir Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom describes his former college professor Morrie Schwartz, who was suffering from ALS. Every Tuesday, Albom talks with Morrie on life’s lessons and gains knowledge from him.

Is Tuesdays with Morrie a true story?

Yes, Tuesdays with Morrie is a true story that was inspired by the author Mitch Albom’s own interactions with Morrie Schwartz, a former college professor.

What is the main message of Tuesdays with Morrie?

The main message of Tuesdays with Morrie is the value of having a purposeful life and appreciating the connections we make with others. Mitch learns from Morrie the importance of forgiveness, love and accepting death.

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