How Flashbacks Give a Deeper Meaning to the Story Tuesdays with Morie
“I’ve got so many people who have been involved with me in close, intimate ways. And love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone,” (Mitch 136). Mitch Albom, the novelist of the novel Tuesdays with Morrie, uses flashbacks to bring out deeper connotation to the story. The book is an account of the relationship between Mitch and his dying professor. At the heart of the narrative is the fourteen Tuesdays that marked the reunion of Mitch and his professor after a period of sixteen years. Essentially, the Tuesdays represent the days that Mitch used to visit his ailing professor after being diagnosed by the terminal ASL. Hence, the days were full of lessons about life. The book epitomizes the final days of Morrie Schwartz and how the days transformed the life of Mitch through the lessons. Hence, Mitch learnt a lot from the professor. In order to epitomize the inherent lessons that he leant from Morrie. Mitch invokes the past through the use of flashbacks. “…we’ve had thirty-five years of friendship. You don’t need speech or hearing to feel that,” (Mitch 71). The flashbacks used not only take the reader back to the background of the story but also exposes the true connotation of Mitch’s experience.
Mitch makes sure that he coalesces the present amid flashbacks of the long-ago, so that the reader can appreciate the depth the liaison between Mitch Albom and Morrie Schwartz. In the course of Albom’s visits, the professor notes that”…I know what a misery being young can be, so don’t tell me it’s so great,” (Mitch 117). This brings out the true essence of Morrie’s lessons to Albom. The quotes invoke the past experiences of the professor who uses his understanding to pass notable lessons to his student. Here we find a lot of wisdom in the author’s choice of flashback to complement the narration. At a certain point he states that “I’ve learned this much about marriage. You get tested. You find out who you are, who the other person is, and how you accommodate or don’t,” (Mitch 149). Perhaps this was a very significant lesson for Albom who was struggling with the issue of family (Schwartz 11). At a certain age the author had ignored his family for work thinking that his final happiness will come from work. The professor further consolidates his lesson by stating that, “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning,” (Mitch 43).
Mitch’s ability to combine the use of flashbacks with the narration of the story makes the reader to obtain a deeper understanding of his relationship with Schwartz Morrie. Therefore, through Morrie’s statements that recall the past, Mitch makes it possible for the reader to obtain a deeper meaning of life. He states that, “In the beginning of life, when we were infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive, right? But here’s the secret: in between, we need others as well.” (Mitch 157). The professor recalls some of his experiences which Mitch uses to provide an intricate understanding to the entire story. Finally, as though remembering his early days, Morrie says “How can I be envious of where you are–when I’ve been there myself,” (Mitch 121).