Tuesdays with Morrie Essay
Martin Luther King, Jr once said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” To me, this quote states that to truly show you are a man; you must face conflicts and challenges, and show strength and a willingness to live during those times. I completely agree with this quote as some of the most respectable men in history have exceled and prospered during hard times they were facing. One novel that shows an individual like this is Tuesdays with Morrie. This book tells a story about Morrie Schwartz, who developed ALS, but overcame this disease and became known world-wide for his positive attitude and outlook on life. Morrie Schwartz is a prime example for this quote.
Throughout the story, the author, Mitch Albom, uses many literary devices to show Morrie’s true personality. One of the devices he uses is symbolism. The use of symbolism in this novel grabs the audience’s attention and also gives the audience a strong sense of Morrie’s crippling condition. One of the many uses of symbolism in the novel is the pink hibiscus plant. As we see Morrie's body gradually give into the disease, we see the plant deteriorate as well. The plant’s petals slowly wither and die as Morrie becomes more dependent on other people to live. Another use of symbolism in the novel is Morrie’s bed. Throughout Morrie's sickness he always preferred to stay in his chair, where he was surrounded by pictures of loved ones and he could also look out his window and appreciate the outdoors. One of Morrie’s aphorisms is, "when you're in bed, you're dead," which is ironic because during the last Tuesday that Mitch visits him, he is in bed. Symbolism is a very important part of the story, it ties together Morrie’s will to live but also at the same time showing his body and overall life become more handicapped, which is why he is a prime example for the quote by Martin Luther King Jr.
Another literary device that is used to show Morrie’s true personality is theme. Mitch uses Morrie’s multiple aphorisms as themes to make powerful impacts on the reader. One of the themes is “Love or Perish.” Morrie uses this quote by W.H Auden to teach an important lesson to Mitch: in the absence of love, there is a void that can be