Questions for Discussion
Let's talk about Mitch and Morrie
1. Did your
opinion about Mitch change as the book went on? In what way?
2. 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
3. Do you
think Mitch would have come back to Morrie's house the second
time if he hadn't been semi-idled by the newspaper strike?
Morrie's criticisms of Mitch throughout the book. Do you think
Morrie should have been tougher on him? Easier?
5. 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 couldn't before?
talk about death
this book make Morrie's death a public event? If so, how is
it similar to other public deaths we've experienced as a society?
How is it different?
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.
of us have read of people discussing the way they'd like to
die, or, perhaps, have talked about it ourselves. 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?
9. On "Nightline,"
Morrie spoke to Ted Koppel of the pain he still felt seventy
years after his mother's death. Is your experience with loss
similar or different? Does what you've read in this book help
ease any of the pain?
was seventy-six years old when diagnosed with ALS. How might
he have reacted if he'd contracted the disease when he was
Mitch's age? Would Morrie have come to the same conclusions?
Felt the same peace and acceptance? Or was his experience
also a function of his age?
talk about meaning
the "effect of silence"exercise that Mitch described. What
do you learn from it?
about the role of meaningful coincidence, synchronicity, in
the book and in Mitch and Morrie's friendship.
told Mitch about the "tension of opposites."Talk about this
as a metaphor for the book and for society.
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?
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?
college students today missing out because they don't have
the meaningful experiences that students faced in the 1960s
had? Do you think Morrie thought they were?
said: "If you've found meaning in your life, you don't want
to go back. You want to go forward."Is this true in your
talk about religion, culture, and ritual
belived, "You have to be strong enough to say if the culture
doesn't work, don't buy it. Create your own."How can people
do this? How can this book help?
19. 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.
20. To the
very end, Mitch arrived at Morrie's house with food. Discuss
the importance of this ritual.
talk about relationships
Morrie judging 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."
Whether or not he was, do you agree?
wrote, "Perhaps this is one reason I was drawn to Morrie.
He let me be where my brother would not."Discuss Mitch's
relationship with Peter.
the practical side of Morrie's advice: "Only an open heart
will allow you to float equally between everyone."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?
said that in marriage, "Your values must be alike."In what
ways to you agree or disagree?
Morrie's lessons have carried less weight if Mitch and Peter
hadn't resumed contact by the book's end?
Things Fall Apart
A Death in the Family
Atwood: Alias Grace
W. H. Auden:
Ford: Independence Day
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
and David McNabb: The Dying Time
Gaines: A Lesson Before Dying
Death Be Not Proud
A Map of the World
The Remains of the Day
Let Evening Come
Kubler-Ross: On Death and Dying
Longaker: Facing Death and Finding Hope Thomas
Climbing Jacob's Ladder
B. Nuland: How We Die
The Things They Carried
Take Time for Your Life
Franny and Zooey
Letting Go: Morrie's Reflections on Living While Dying
Dowling Singh: The Grace in Dying
Illness as Metaphor Leo Tolstoy: "The Death of Ivian Ilych"
Weenolsen: The Art of Dying Nathaniel West: The Day of the
Matters of Life and Death