Tuesday With Morrie Rhetorical Analysis

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Throughout the novel Tuesday’s With Morrie, the author, Mitch Albom, reflects on his Tuesday meetings with his old professor, now consumed with a terminal illness, and, using many rhetorical choices, reveals “The Meaning of Life,” which they discussed profusely and divided into several categories. Topics such as Death, Emotions, Aging, Money, Culture, and more are all discussed in their weekly conferences, Morrie passing his wisdom on to one of his favor students. And Albom, writing about their talks, uses numerous rhetoric devices to discuss this wisdom. As Morrie Schwartz, dying of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), speaks with Albom, the two talk about Death. Describing the discussion, Albom uses strategies such as irony filled dialogue…show more content…
He tells Mitch that he is “detaching himself,” and saying, “this is important- not just for someone like me, who is dying, but for someone like you, who is perfectly healthy. Learn to detach.” The sentence structure, several small pieces of information, strung along with commas, serves to compare the needs of an old dying man to the needs of a young healthy one. The way the sentence is used allows the reader to relate the two and see Morrie’s point more clearly, that the emotional needs of everyone are similar, that everyone needs to detach. To detach is to remove oneself from their emotions, and Morrie believes that it is important to do this, and reveals that this is how he has managed to cope with his disease by including himself in the “everyone” he believes detachment is helpful for. He backs his point even more with an allusion to Buddhist culture, referencing a popular phrase, “Don’t cling to things, because everything is impermanent.” Including this in his story gives the reader the feeling that Morrie is cultured and wise. Albom uses this piece of dialogue to better attach the reader to Morrie, to better gain their sympathy and agreement, as they can now see how reliable and illustrious he is. This also has the…show more content…
Albom includes examples of rhetorical question and dialogue questioning popular opinion to reveal Morrie’s revulsion and advice concerning the average view on aging. Speaking of his old age, Morrie says, “I am not going to be ashamed. What’s the big deal?” The author’s purpose of adding this to his novel is to point out to the reader how ridiculous it is that people fear aging. Morrie sees this and resolutely decides to oppose it, as it’s natural and inevitable. Incorporating this specific line helps the reader understand that Morrie is trying to practice what he preaches, constantly questioning society's unspoken ideals, thus, making it easier for others to follow his advice as well. The author goes on to talk about Morrie’s other beliefs concerning the beliefs of others, including the wise words, “all this emphasis on youth- I don’t buy it… Aging is not just decay, you know. It’s growth.” Questioning popular belief, on Morrie’s part, shows him as being separate from the “hive mind.” Writing about it, on Albom’s part, impresses upon the audience an appeal to ethos, showing Morrie’s ethical side by proving him to stand out from social norms. Doing this makes his words, his lessons on the Meaning of Life more likely to be absorbed by the readers of the novel, just as Mitch absorbed them during his time talking to his dying professor. He calls out how preposterous the common fear of aging is, pointing out how
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