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BOOK REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. What is the significance of the pink hibiscus plant that sits on the ledge in Morrie's
study?

How is it a metaphor for Morrie's life? Can you site an incidence in your life wherein you
can also relate to the "hibiscus plant"?

The hibiscus plant symbolizes life, the life of Morrie and the life itself. The hibiscus plant
slowly withers off as Morrie grows dependently to his oxygen tank and paraphernalia to
sustain his life. The hibiscus plant comes to its natural cycle of drying, and as Morrie, a
human, goes through his life suffering from his ALS. Morrie said that he will not wither;
instead he will make the best of his time left.

My dad died at the age of 55 when I was 12 years old. He was a policeman and became a
very good father and provider to us. But he was unfortunate to survive his third CVA
attack. He was able to live for 8months after that. We sacrificed everything just to revive
him. Slowly, our savings began to empty day by day. We sold our cars, pawn our house
and lot in the province, sold our other properties, my sisters who were both in college that
time had to stop for the sake of our father’s health. Like the hibiscus plant, death is
inevitable to our father, and so to us and I hope not so soon. But atleast, after all our
sufferings we can say to the whole world how we loved our father that we are willing to
give up our everything just for him. I think if he is still alive or whenever given a chance
to talk to me and my family, he will get mad at us because if he is still alive, he can not
take to see us like this.

2. Explain Morrie's idea on "detachment". What does "detachment" mean to Morrie,and


how does he use it to cope with his disease?. How can you utilize "detachment" to cope
with pain/heart aches/ disappointment or failures?

Morrie’s idea on detachment came from the Buddhist philosophy “Don’t cling to things,
because everything is impermanent.” Morrie means that detachment is his defense
mechanism of getting out of the things he is experiencing. Detachment is removing yourself
to the reality of your feeling not because you do not want to feel that feeling anymore but
because you are done feeling that feelings and you have to continue with your life and other
stuffs. He was able to use his idea on detachment especially every time he coughed and
paused. This was his feeling of pain and dying. At the same time, he wanted to die serenely
because for him, his death is his moment and he does not want to leave the world in state of
fright.

Well for me, detachment is not easy and I do not even think that I can do it perfectly like how
Morrie did it. I hope to stay on focus even if problems and failures are perceived. By
allowing my self to be eaten by these experiences and feelings, hopefully I will be able to
detach from it and continue facing the other challenges that awaits me.

3. How has Morrie's childhood affected his behavior as an adult? Explain how each of his
family members, including his mother, father, stepmother, and younger brother, have
affected his development.

Morrie’s childhood was tragic. His mother died with only a telegram from the hospital to
notice them. And this telegram haunts him about his mother’s death. At some point, he
blamed his self because when her mother would asked her to get her a medicine, he
would ran away thinking that the illness go away by ignoring it.

His father, named Charlie, came to America to escape the Russian Army. He was poor and
uneducated that is why his father was not able to get a good job. His father worked in a fur
company and forced him to work. His father did not show any warmth or affection even
though Morrie tried to help their family. And by these, Morrie made a vow that he will not
exploit anyone and use other to make a living. His father also stopped him from talking about
his mother.

Morrie felt responsible for his brother contacting Polio. The young Morrie could not
understand why his brother would have to go back and forth to a hospital with a brace on
his leg that made him limping just by their playing outside the rain. So to help his
brother, he pray every morning in the synagogue, did some living in the subways in the
afternoon, and still got nothing to his father in the evening, even a little talk or affection.
At this young age, it made him feel responsible.

His step mother gave him the affection and care that his looking from his father. She took
care of him and really performed responsibilities of being a mother to Morrie. Through
Eva, Morrie’s love for education was honed. She said, that if a people is educated, it can
be a way to help them out in poverty. Eva only wanted nothing from Morrie except good
grades from school.

4. What reasons does Morrie give for rejecting the mores prescribed by the popular
culture. How has he created his own culture, and what values does it consist of?

According to Morrie, the culture we have does not make people happy because we are
teaching the wrong things. At the same time, people are busy doing things they thought
are important fro them. For Morrie, he created his culture by devoting himself to love
others, to the community around him like his students and colleagues, and devoting his
self to create something that gaives purpose and meaning to his life. His values con

5. How does Morrie rationalize his thoughts that aging is growth, and not decay, as most
people see it?

According to Morrie, as we age we grow because we are able to experience life and learn
more. Although it is a fact that people are bound to die, it must make them realize more
that they have to live a better life. And if a person shows fear of aging, it reflects that they
have unsatisfied lives. Lives that have not yet found meanings and directions. If people
are happy and satisfied with their lives, they would not want to go back. Instead, satisfied
people would like to go forward and see more what awaits them.

6. 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?

Both Mitch and Morrie benefited from each other. Morrie was able to have company in
the presence of Mitch on whom he shared his meanings of life, life experiences, lessons
learned, and death. Even though Morrie was challenged every time they had their
discussion, he was able to have someone on whom he can share his thoughts and has a
very genuine interest on him.

Mitch, on the other hand, was able to learn from their discussion. He was able to change
his views on his life. At the end, he was able to make an output, this book “Tuesdays with
Morrie”. Morrie became the mentor of Mitch about life.

If each of them would answer this, they would say that both of them benefited from each
other.

7. Morrie told Mitch about the "tension of opposites." Talk about this as a metaphor for
the book or in connection to your life (you can relate it to any "significant" event in your
life)

According to Morrie, life is series of pull back and forth. When you are bound to do
something else, you want to do another thing. The same is true with my life as a student
and a teenager. Being a nursing student requires me to spend lot of time to study. The
requirements are so many that I work even during week ends. As s teenager, the pressure
from my peers to go out, drink, and have fun is not so easy. Although is not always, I
really find it hard to appear and be with them. Honestly, to choose whether to party or to
study, I would definitely like to party. But I just can not do it like that, because I am
bound to study, and as a student, it is my responsibility.

8. Morrie 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 experience?

I am not that experienced and old to say that. I am still young, adventurous, and risky.
There are just some simple situations in my life that help me slowly find meanings in my
life like finding a special someone, my family, my friends, and my future as a successful
nurse. Maybe, when all these aspects in my life are stable, I can say that I already found
meaning in my life. Because this is what I always wanted, to help my family and myself
to gain the things that we lost when my father died. I would not like to hold any more
grudges to the people who hurt me but just to look forward tha everything in this world,
happens for a reason.

9. Morrie believed: 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?

Well for Morrie, not everything that people do to their lives makes them happy. People
can do what Morrie said by doing the things that you find others doing wrong. Morrie
created his culture, making others feel being care of and knowledgeable about life. If a
people will just stop the things that they thought are really important, they will be more
happy. They can do this by helping others, getting yourself involved to community, and
doing the things you think you can find love, meaning, and purpose to live.

10. What was and how was the impact of the book review to you as a person after reading
it? Elaborate.

I am very touchy person. I easily relate to people. I remember a male patient in the EENT
who suffers from tuberculosis, laryngeal cancer, and diabetes. He has been there for
almost 6 moths already with his wife taking care of him. For my 3 weeks of exposure in
that patient, I saw how great is the love of her wife for him. Still loving and taking care of
him beside the physical condition and financial problem due to high maintenance of
treatment. For me, when it comes to death I will with the words of Morrie, “dying is not
synonymous with the word useless”. It makes me realize how important life is. I must
make my day with a help to make a people change for the better. I must help my future
clients wholly and how to accept certain inevitable event in their life, death, as a normal
flow here on earth.

Also discuss to me your "point of views".