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5 People You Meet in Heaven

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The novel begins with Eddie's eighty third birthday, he is a maintenance worker at Ruby Pier which is an amusement park. The conflict is between Eddie and himself. The setting is basically the park and heaven. Imagery and symbolism are the literary devices. Eddie is the protagonist. His day is normal until a ride stops operating. A little girl is under the cart that breaks and Eddie runs to go save the girl but instead he ends up dying. Eddie goes to heaven and he meets his first person, the blue man. The blue man explains to him that he is going to find five people in heaven whose lives he affected. Now the blue man explains how Eddie was responsible for his death without even knowing it. So the blue man starts explaining his life story until the part when Eddie kills him indirectly. It happened when Eddie was playing with a ball and the ball got tossed onto the street and Eddie went to retrieve it when the blue man happened to pass by without Eddie knowing. The blue man swerved out of Eddie's way and his heart started pumping fast that he died of a heart attack. So the blue man taught Eddie his first lesson that all deaths are connected in some way and all lives cross. Then the blue man disappears and Eddie appears on a battle field. He notices that it looks like the terrain he fought on during the Second World War. He finds his second person who was his captain from the war. Eddie has a flashback in which he remembers the war and how they were captured and imprisoned until they broke out and started burning the place. Eddie starts saying there is someone crawling in the fire, but no one believes him so the captain shot him in the leg because he did not want to leave anybody behind. Eddie got seriously injured and was never the same. Then the captain explains how he sacrificed his life to save his soldiers. Eddie's lesson was that in life you should sacrifice some things: "A daughter moves home to take care of her sick father" (page 93). A wind lifted Eddie so Eddie could meet his third person, Ruby. This is where Eddie's father appears as the antagonist because he is mostly portrayed as beating Eddie and not caring about him at times until it got to the point Eddie defended himself when his father was going to punch him. At first, he is behind a window at a diner, and then Ruby appears. Ruby is the woman Ruby Pier was named for. She explains her whole life story to Eddie. Then she shows Eddie the night his father caught pneumonia. Mickey Shea, Eddie's father's best friend, tried to hurt his mother and Eddie's father caught him and wanted to kill him but then Mickey fell off the pier and almost drowned but his father saved him. Ruby shows Eddie that his father was being loyal to a friend and that Eddie needed to forgive his father. Then the place changed and Eddie finds himself in a world of wedding receptions. He found Marguerite there, his wife. This was the first time they talked since she died.



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