Morrie as the Everyman Hero

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Tuesdays with Morrie


Morrie as an Everyman Hero in Tuesdays with Morrie

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Activity Overview


In literature, an “everyman” has come to mean an ordinary individual that the audience or reader easily identifies with, but who has no outstanding abilities or attributes. An everyman hero is one who is placed in extraordinary circumstances and acts with heroic qualities. While lacking the talent of the classical hero, they exhibit sound moral judgment and selflessness in the face of adversity. See our lesson on defining an Everyman Hero!

Use that lesson with your class to come up with five common characteristics of an everyman hero. Then, use the following five-cell spider map to highlight how Morrie meets these common characteristics of an “everyman hero” in the memoir Tuesdays with Morrie.



Brave

Even though Morrie is diagnosed with a devastating disease, he faces it with purpose, and finds a way to share his experiences beyond his death by working with Mitch on their “final thesis” together. He is afraid sometimes, but he acknowledges the fear, detaches, and doesn’t let it take over.


Scared, But Determined

While Morrie has coughing fits that leave him gasping for air, and even as he becomes more weak, he still makes sure he is ready for Mitch every Tuesday to get his message and lessons onto the tape recorder. It is this sense of purpose that gives Morrie strength.


Upstanding Character

Morrie is a well-loved teacher, husband, and father to all who know him. He puts his family first, and even though his own father was a silent man, he made sure to shower his own sons with affection and never leave them wanting love from him. He is honest and trustworthy, and he follows his heart, even if it means rejecting society’s standards about what is important.


Compassionate

While Morrie is suffering, he still wants to delve into Mitch’s life and what is bothering him. First, he knows that Mitch is unhappy because he is unfulfilled by only focusing on his work. Second, Morrie knows that Mitch is struggling inside because his brother in Spain is battling pancreatic cancer, and Mitch doesn’t know how to reach out to him. Morrie cares as much about Mitch’s struggles as he does about his own.


Stands Up for Beliefs

During the Vietnam War, Morrie was so fiercely opposed to the war that he and other members of the sociology department at Brandeis gave their male students As so they could keep their deferments. It may not have been ethical, but it was something that Morrie believed in strongly.



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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows how Morrie can be considered an everyman hero.


  1. Identify events of the story or characteristics of Bert that fit into attributes of an everyman hero.
  2. Illustrate examples for Brave; Scared, But Determined; Upstanding Character; Compassionate; and Stands Up for Beliefs.
  3. Write a short description below each cell that specifically relates Morrie as an everyman hero.
  4. Save and submit the assignment.

Everyman Hero Template

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