Motifs, Symbols and Themes Ms. Pastwa: 9th College A motif is a detail in a story that repeats itself throughout the work Portrayed as being evil The main reason for taking Mitch’s passion and ambition EX: Mitch is out of work due to a strike at the Detroit newspaper EX: Morrie points out that society has become dependent on and addicted to media coverage “When you learn to live, you learn to die” (82). In life, Morrie teaches that a person is everchanging EX: With Morrie as his mentor, Mitch is able to reincarnate himself in life and transform himself EX: Despite his old age, Morrie is still changing as every person until their dying day. Every Tuesday Mitch brings a bag of food to Morrie as a way for Mitch and Morrie to connect. Eating is a favorite pastime, or hobby, of Morrie’s. EX: Mitch believes food is the only gift he can bring to Morrie, and the one thing he can give back. EX: Food is a reminder of the days teacher and student shared in the cafeteria at Brandeis. A symbol is an object, image, color, action, and/or event that stands for something beyond itself. As Morrie’s body deteriorates, so does the hibiscus plant. This is used as a metaphor for Morrie’s life. Morrie tells a story about a wave who sees the waves ahead of him crash onto the shore and fears disappearing into nothingness. Another wave comforts him with the news he will actually be part of the larger ocean. This is a metaphor for Morrie who will soon be like the wave and return to something larger in the afterlife. The wave symbolizes Morrie’s faith and embodiment of his death. Morrie says, “When you’re in bed, you’re dead.” Throughout his struggle, Morrie refuses to stay in bed because he sees it as a surrender and a sign of death. It is not until his last final days that Morrie surrenders to his bed. Overall message or lesson Reject the popular culture. Love or perish. Accepting death is the key to living life.