Study Guide

Tuesdays With Morrie Chapter 6

By Mitch Albom

Chapter 6

The Classroom

  • Mitch and Morrie have been chatting for two hours. The housekeeper keeps interrupting with calls from Morrie's many friends and appointments; Morrie explains that people are more interested in him now that he's dying. They want his advice and perspective.
  • Mitch doesn't understand why Morrie's so happy to see him. If it weren't for seeing him on television by total chance, after all, they never would have met again. Seeing his old teacher makes him wonder what happened to his character in all those years between then and now.
  • Morrie starts asking a litany of deeply personal questions about Mitch's heart and the way he lives his life. Kind of like how he grilled Ted from ABC. Morrie is an equal-opportunity griller, it seems.
  • Mitch can only answer with his job success, and meanwhile keeps wondering what he's let happen to himself and his life over the years (6.22).
  • They sit for a while in silence as Morrie struggles to finish his lunch.
  • Morrie begins to teach. He says that living badly is a sadder thing than dying, and that people nowadays don't live in a culture than encourages them to feel good. He says the only thing to do is make a new culture.
  • Morrie has made his own culture by surrounding himself with good people.
  • Then he explains to Mitch that he'll eventually die of suffocation, when his lungs can no longer function. He demonstrates by doing something that our narrator says "haunts me to this day" (6.32): He holds his breath and counts to eighteen. Afterward, he explains that at first he was able to count to twenty-three; he measures his life on the number that keeps shrinking.
  • Mitch is really shaken up by this and he leaves soon after, but Morrie makes him promise to come back.
  • Flashback to Mitch buying books for Morrie's class with titles like Youth: Identity and Crisis, I and Thou, and The Divided Self. He's surprised that books like this are used for learning.
  • Morrie tells him that life is about tensions between opposites and that people usually live life right in the center. Kind of like a wrestling match, he says. In the end, love is the side that always wins.