Elaine Risley is a middle-aged artist who goes back to the city of her childhood because she had to attend a show there.Morrie Schwartz is reunited with his former student Mitch who he recalls despite having not seen him for more than 16 years. The reunion gives Morrie Schwartz a chance to pass on his wisdom to the world through Mitch because he was in the final days of his life.
Elaine Risley fled her childhood city because of the fact that she wanted to leave behind the painful memories that she had while growing up there. Much of the pain came from the fact her friends Cordelia, Carol, and grace results to humiliating her in the name of improving her. This leads to a period of depression. The friends would walk around pointing out at her weaknesses and failures, resulting in a state of very low self-esteem. As a result of the experience that Elaine had with Cordelia, she begins to doubt her abilities even when she was not supposed to. Despite the fact that Cordelia was just a part of her past, she could still have the memories of her criticism and mockery in her thought. In fact, she thought that by fleeing her home city she will be able to forget all the wrong things that had happened to her during her childhood(Atwood 67). This does not happen and she ignores every chance she has for going back to Toronto because of the fear that she would be remembered for the kind of life that she had while growing up.
During the 16 years that Mitch and Morrie were separated many things change in the character of Mitch. He leaves behind the moral values which Morrie remembers him to uphold. Mitch is enticed by the popular culture is more drawn to individualism. Mitch does picture ever going back to the moral self he once used to be. Mitch does not have the kind of experience that he had with Morrie (Albom 72). The kind of people that he interacts with is just cold and does not give much attention to moral values, but to the gains that they get from everything they do.