Mitch Albom’s novel Tuesdays with Morrie delves into the complexities of the human condition from the stand point of an elderly man that is slowly dying from the disease ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The man, Morrie, decides to spend the last of his time on earth spreading his wisdom to as many people as possible, teaching them a lot about the importance of life, as well as what is necessary to live life to the fullest and be truly happy. What Morrie teaches these people is something great poets have been doing for a very long time. In the novel Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom expresses themes and ideas in everyday life that relate back to poetry and can be applied to one’s perspective of the human condition.
In the novel, Morrie conveyed the importance of focusing on the important things in life, rather than things that society says will bring you happiness. He indicated that “how we think,” and “what we value,” is something “you can’t let anyone, or any society determine for you” (Albom 43). Morrie’s statement addresses the importance of determining one’s own values and beliefs rather than allowing society to choose them for you. Phillip Larkin’s poem “Next, Please” tells the tale of several individuals that waited for what society told them would bring happiness, but resulted in the bitter deaths of people who had worked hard to earn a reward that would never be given to them. Through his poem Larkin is trying to warn readers of the hollow promises offered by society. Larkin primarily does this through the ending of the poem that states: “Only one ship is seeking us, a black-/Sailed unfamiliar, towing at her back/A huge and birdless silence. In her wake/No waters breed or break” (21-24). Though the prospect of life described in Larkin’s poem seem to be incredibly dreary, they are starkly contrasted by Morrie’s descriptions of life with love.
Throughout the novel Morrie puts a special emphasis on the importance of loving relationships with those you care about. He even believes that people must “love each other or parish” (Albom 149). Though to most this assertion may seem incongruous, it really means that, to have a healthy, productive life, one must surround oneself with those that understand and love them that they understand and love in return. This theme is discussed in Meribah Abbott’s poem, “The Best Friend”. The poem describes the relationship between a dog and its crippled master. It exposes the importance of unconditional love in the last line when stating, “Ye taught me trust when man's dull logic failed” ( Abbott 11). This last line is undeniably the most important when attempting to describe the importance of loving relationships. It demonstrates how, by loving others, a person can improve upon themselves. Morrie also believed that love was what gave meaning to life.
Morrie stresses the importance of focusing on love instead of worrying about the troubles in life. He best summarizes his ideas on love in a few sentences:...