Jenna ArizaMs. FarahAP English III & Language CompositionJanuary 2, 2017Tuesdays With Morrie Discussion Questions and ResponsesDid your opinion about Mitch change as book went on? In what way?My opinion about Mitch changed as the book went on. At first, I thought Mitch was the type of person who often followed the crowd to fit in; for example, he did this by being more focused on immaterial things like work. As I read on, Mitch’s character and personality showed me that he was someone who was too scared to be a leader and that he did not realistically know what material things were because he never truly knew the meaning of life.Page 33Main quote to focus on: “I traded lots of dreams for a bigger paycheck, and I never even realized I was doing it.”Who do you think got more out of their Tuesday meetings, Mitch or Morrie? In what ways? How do you think each would answer this question?Mitch got more out of the Tuesday meetings with Morrie because although Morrie was coming face to face with death, Morrie had almost experienced life to the fullest while Mitch had not. The meetings were technically life lessons that gave Mitch clarity on life. Morrie taught Mitch mainly about the important/meaningful things in life and lectured Mitch on each subject that was written on the list: death, fear, aging, greed, marriage, family, society, forgiveness, and a meaningful life. Morrie would say that he got more out of the meetings with Mitch because he gained a close friend during such a hard time. Mitch would respond to the question by saying that he got more out of the meetings with mitchy by explaining that Morrie helped educate him on the meaning of life through the lectures during their Tuesday meetings.Page 120″If you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow….Mitch, it is impossible for the old not to envy the young. I envy them being able to go to the health club, or go for a swim. But the issue is to accept who you are and revel in that. This is your time to be in your thirties. I had my time to be in my thirties, and now is my time to be 78. You have to find what’s good and beautiful in your life as it is now. Looking back makes you competitive and age is not a competitive issue.”Do you think Mitch would have come back to Morrie’s house the second time if he had not been semi-idled by the newspaper strike?Mitch would have came back to Morrie’s house the second time around even though a newspaper strike took place. Mitch often thought of his conversations with Morrie and it made him think about if the culture he was following for himself (working) was right for him. The newspaper strike only fastened Mitch’s trip back to Morrie’s home.Pages 42-45Discuss Morrie’s criticisms of Mitch throughout the book. Do you think Morrie should have been tougher on him? Easier?Although Morrie criticized Mitch throughout the book, it proved to be beneficial to Mitch. Morrie’s criticisms and lectures made Mitch constantly ask himself if what he was doing was/felt right by asking Mitch questions such as, “…Are you giving to your community? Are you at peace with yourself? Are you trying to be as human as you can be?” so that Mitch can make the right choices in his life. Morrie did not need to act tougher or easier or Mitch because the way he was communicating with Mitch seemed like the best way to get Mitch’s mind and decisions on the right path.Page 34″…Are you giving to your community? Are you at peace with yourself? Are you trying to be as human as you can be?”Do you think Mitch would have listened if Morrie hadn’t been dying? Does impending death automatically make one’s voice able to penetrate where it could not before?Impending death makes one’s voice able to penetrate where it could not before because more people may listen since the person is coming face to face with death. Morrie did not think about death that much and how important life really is until he found out that he was dying. Although, if Morrie was not dying, Mitch still would have listened to Morrie because the two characters have a great bond and an utmost respect for one another. Page 82Main quote to focus on: “…once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” Let’s Talk About DeathDoes this book make Morrie’s death a public event? If so, how is it similar to other public deaths we have experienced as a society? How is it different?The book, Tuesdays with Morrie, makes Morrie’s death a public event because in the memoir, Morrie is shown on television talking about himself, life, and death. Morrie’s death is similar to other public deaths we have experienced as a society because it gives us a first person view on how a person is facing death. Morrie’s public death was different because it not only covered Mitch’s memoir through a book, but his public death made Mitch and many other people think about life and death.Pages 19-20Morrie referred to himself as a bridge, a person who is in between life and death, which makes him useful to others as a tool to understand both. Talk about other literary, historical, political, or religious figures who have also served this purpose.Historical FigureMahatma Gandhi: stood up for what he believed in and risked his lifeLink: https://www.biography.com/people/mahatma-gandhi-9305898Literary FigureHazel Grace (The Fault In Our Stars): made readers realize the importance of life and how to make the best of itTv show/novel: The Fault in Our StarsMost of us have read of people discussing the way they would like to die, or, perhaps, have been a part of that conversation. One common thought is that it would be best to live a long, healthy life and then die suddenly in one’s sleep. After reading this book, what do you think about that? Given a choice, would Morrie have taken that route instead of the path he traveled?After reading Tuesdays with Morrie, I still think that it is best for one to live a long, healthy life and then die in one’s sleep because it seems more peaceful and less painful since the person would have known that their life was lived to the fullest. If given a choice, I am unsure if Morrie would have taken the same route as me because I feel as though he is the type of person to say that everything happens for a reason and that you are bound to die one day. At the same time, I feel that Morrie would have taken the same route because he would experience less pain and have less of a difficult time with certain things, like eating or using the toilet.Page 106On Nightline, Morrie spoke to Ted Koppel of the pain he still felt about his mother’s death seventy years prior to the interview. Is your experience with loss similar or different? Does what you’ve read in this book help ease any of that pain?I have not experienced much loss in my life so far, except for the funerals I attended when my mom lost someone she did not really know. If I were to experience a great loss, I would definitely feel the same way as Morrie but I doubt that the book would help ease any of the pain despite how much time has passed.Pages 71-72Morrie was seventy-eight years old when diagnosed with ALS. How might he have reacted if he had contracted the disease when he was Mitch’s age? Would Morrie have come to the same conclusions? The same peace and acceptance? Or is his experience also a function of his age?Morrie would have reacted very differently if he was Mitch’s age. Usually, people experience ALS at a later age (“between the ages of 40 and 60”) and Morrie at Mitch’s age would have been sooner than expected. Morrie would not have come to the same conclusions, the same peace, or the same acceptance because he believed that at the time he was diagnosed with ALS, Morrie had already experienced much of what life had to offer him and how he chose to make the most out of it. Morrie also mentioned that he was not envious of those younger than him because he had experienced the same age marks (examples: 30s, 40s, 50s).Page 120Main quote to focus on: “If you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow….Mitch, it is impossible for the old not to envy the young. I envy them being able to go to the health club, or go for a swim. But the issue is to accept who you are and revel in that. This is your time to be in your thirties. I had my time to be in my thirties, and now is my time to be 78. You have to find what’s good and beautiful in your life as it is now. Looking back makes you competitive and age is not a competitive issue.”Source for age range: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis/basics/definition/con-20024397?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=abstract&utm_content=Amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis&utm_campaign=Knowledge-panelLet’s Talk About MeaningTry the “effect of silence” exercise that Mitch described in your class or in your group. What do you learn from it?I attempted the “effect of silence” exercise during Winter break. The exercise that Mitch described made me learn and find out that even in silence, I do not have to follow what others may be doing because I can be different and create my own “culture” since it feels right.Page 42Main quote to focus on: “The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”Talk about the role of meaningful coincidence, synchronicity, in the book and in Mitch and Morrie’s friendship.Synchronism: coincidence in time; contemporaneousness; simultaneousnessLink: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/synchronicity”According to Carl Jung, such events are not mere coincidences at all, but what he called synchronicity or meaningful coincidence. ‘Synchronicity,’ said Jung, ‘is the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer.”Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sense-and-sensitivity/201112/the-art-meaningful-coincidenceMitch and Morrie’s relationship with one another showed me an example of what true friendship really looked like despite the circumstance that Morrie was dying. Morrie and Mitch’s relationship was coincidentally rekindled by Morrie and Mitch becoming close once again. The role of meaningful coincidence was also included in this book by Mitch finding out about Morrie and condition on television.Page 174″Death ends a life, not a relationship.” Morrie told Mitch about the “tension of opposites” (p. 40). Talk about this as a metaphor for the book and for society.”Tension of opposites”: when one thing is supposed to happen, but something else happens instead (definition taken from Tuesdays with Morrie)Morrie told Mitch about the “tension of opposites”. The metaphor for the “Tension of opposites” is a metaphor for society because rules and laws are always made by looking at what is seen and/or deemed as morally correct. The metaphor for the “Tension of opposites” is also a metaphor for the memoir because there are several instances where the “tension of opposites” occur, such as Morrie suddenly getting ALS or Mitch suddenly losing his job even though they both had not planned either of the events.Mitch made a list of topics about which he wanted Morrie’s insight and clarity. In what ways would your list be the same or different?Morrie’s list: fear, aging, greed, marriage, family, society, forgiveness, and a meaningful lifeMy list: fear, aging, greed, marriage, family, society, forgiveness, and a meaningful lifeMy list would be the same as Morrie’s because the list covers everything that I am uneasy and scared about discussing and finding out about.Discuss the book in terms of structure, voice, and tone, paying attention to Mitch’s use of flashbacks and other literary devices. How do his choices add to the meaning?The book’s choices of structure, voice, tone, Mitch’s use of flashbacks, and other literary devices add to the meaning of the book. His choices add to the meaning because it allows readers to make sense of certain situations and references to the past between Morrie and Mitch and allows readers to become more involved and feel as if they are a part of the story itself.Are college students today missing out because they don’t have the meaningful experiences that students in the 1960s had? Do you think Morrie thought they were? Morrie said, “If you’ve found meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward” (p. 118). Is this true in your experience?College students are not missing out just because they do not have the same experiences as students from the 1960s had because not much has changed since then. Morrie may have thought they were missing out but I am unsure. In my experience, I have yet to find meaning in my life and if I already have, then I must be blind because I have yet to find out.Let’s Talk About Religion, Culture, and RitualMorrie believed, “You have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own” (pp. 35-36). How can people do this? How can this book help?People can choose the right culture by choosing what feels right for them and what is best rather than following the crowd and thinking that it is probably the best path to take. Tuesdays with Morrie can help people choose the right culture by giving them clarity on many subjects that included in life.As his visits with Morrie continued, Mitch explored some other cultures and religions and how each views death. Discuss these and others that you’ve studied.Religion is discussed, mentioned, and referred to in Tuesdays with Morrie. Although I am not that religious and I am unsure of what religion to follow, I always hear that an afterlife must exist. In my family, they are members of the Catholic community and claim that a Heaven exists and I somehow choose to believe that (probably because I am scared of death).To the very end, Mitch arrived at Morrie’s house with food. Discuss the importance of this ritual.Ritual: a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed orderMitch’s arrival with food at Morrie’s house became a ritual. The ritual was considered important because it showed that Mitch got used to the fact that he saw Morrie every Tuesday and it showed that he seemed scared at the thought of losing Morrie one day.Let’s Talk About RelationshipsWas Morrie making a judgment on people who choose not to have kids with his statement: “If you want the experience of having complete responsibility for another human being, and to learn how to love and bond in the deepest way, then you should have children” (p. 93)? Whether or not he was, do you agree?Morrie was not making a judgement on people who choose not to have kids but he was just trying to make point when it came to experiencing the “complete responsibility for another human being. I agree with Morrie’s statement because having a child is one of the hardest responsibilities that a person can deal with.Mitch wrote, “Perhaps this is one reason I was drawn to Morrie. He let me be where my brother would not” (p. 97). Discuss Mitch’s relationship with Peter.Mitch was very close to his old professor, Morrie, but his relationship with his younger brother, Peter, seemed to be very distant based off of what I read from the book. Peter tends to isolate his feelings and himself from his family.Discuss the practical side of Morrie’s advice: “Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone” (p. 128). How could this advice be useful the next time you’re in a social or other situation where you feel out of place or uncomfortable?I am unsure if Morrie’s advice could be useful for the next time I am in a social or other situation where you feel out of place or uncomfortable. Having an open heart towards everyone could mean that you are more likely to get hurt.Morrie said that in marriage, “Your values must be alike” (p. 149). In what ways do you agree or disagree?I agree with Morrie’s marriage value statement because if your values are not at least similar, the marriage falls apart and your disputes worse or become unsolved.Would Morrie’s lessons have carried less weight if Mitch and Peter hadn’t resumed contact by book’s end?(Questions issued by publisher.)Morrie’s lessons would have carried the same weight even if Mitch and Peter had not resumed contact by book’s end because it changed Mitch’s perspective on many subjects and even if Peter never contacted Mitch, Mitch would have accepted his brother’s choice and forgave him.