Analysis of the Five People You Meet in Heaven

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Analysis Of The Five People You Meet In Heaven

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The novel “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” was published in 2003. It is written by Mitch Albom, who majored in Sociology and earned Master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Mitch Albom became a writer in New York City and works as a feature writer and sports journalist for The Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel in Florida. He is known for his inspirational books and sold over 39 million books worldwide. In his book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, talks about the journey of a maintenance man named Eddie in his life and death. Eddie who is celebrating his 83rd birthday died after an accident happened at Ruby Pier where he is working as a head maintenance manager. The book is based on a real life person who is Mitch Albom’s uncle, Eddie Beitchman.

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The story begins on the day that Eddie died and new beginning of his journey. It takes place in numerous locations in both heaven and his life on earth. After Eddie died, he transcended to heaven, not a typical heaven that we think of, a paradise or full of clouds, but different kind of heaven. This heaven have different settings; Ruby Pier, battlefield where WWII happened, mountains, various weddings, and a river and each of it have a corresponding person that will meet and teach Eddie a lesson. These heavens are not Eddie’s heaven but the other person’s version of heaven. Each of the person he will meet in every different settings of heaven, he experiences various emotion, feelings that he need to understand in order to let go of his anger and regrets that burdened him while he is still alive and until now in heaven. To fully understand what happened in his life, people he will meet in heaven will explain things that will enlighten Eddie and make him realized how much he meant to other people and to achieve his own heaven.

Eddie is the main protagonist of “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”. People at the Ruby Pier calls him “Eddie Maintenance” since he works at Ruby Pier as maintenance manager. He is World War II veteran that makes him limp. At the age of 83, he is widowed. The story began on the day Eddie died after trying to save the girl from an accident happened at the Ruby Pier. The whole story revolves around Eddie when he transcended into heaven and meet five people that teach him lessons that will make him let go of his burdens and regrets in life.

In the book, Eddie meets five people that will teach him a lesson after he died. The first person he met is the blue man, who is the person that explained to him what will happen to his journey now after he died. He explained that Eddie will meet five people in heaven that will teach him a lesson and the first one is him, the blue man. Joseph Corvelszchik is the blue man’s true name whom Eddie not recognized in his life. Blue man stated that they not really met while Eddie is alive but somehow, they are connected in the story when a child runs in front of the blue man’s car. In order to miss that kid, he had to brake suddenly causing an accident that lead to his death. That child’s name is Eddie. The blue man tells Eddie that all lives are interconnected to each other, when someone dies, someone lives. Next person is, the Captain. The captain is Eddie’s commanding officer during World War II. He is the one who injured Eddie. The captain teaches Eddie the importance of sacrifice. In order to save Eddie’s life, he shot Eddie’s leg and in order to save his companions, the captain sacrifice himself and in order to fulfill his promise not to leave anyone behind.

The third one is Ruby; the Ruby Pier is named after her. Eddie thought that the third person is his father because he saw him in the diner but it is Ruby the one who will be the third person that will give him a lesson. Eddie and his father had a troubled relationship. Eddie holds grudge against his father due to its violent action to him. It is clearly stated in the story that Eddie is damaged emotionally and physically by his father. Eddie stated that he can never forgive his father but Ruby made him realized that he can achieve peace if he makes it by himself. The fourth person Eddie met is love of his life and his wife, Marguerite. They talked about themselves, what happened after Marguerite died and when Marguerite is in heaven. Eddie is still in love with Marguerite even though she died in an accident. Eternal nature of love, that is the fourth lesson for Eddie. Lastly, the fifth and last person is a girl named Tala, that Eddie met in Heaven is the one that he did saw and tried to rescue in a burning tent in the Philippines. Eddie felt responsible for the girl’s death. Tala made Eddie realized that Eddie’s grief and sadness turn into his strength that makes Eddie diligent and be able to save the girl from falling ride.

The novel is somehow classified as Philosophical Fiction because it talks about purpose of life or life itself. The novel is more like to inspire readers that believe their lives are worthless and inform them some of the lessons that can be used in everyday lives. Mitch Albom emphasize the five lessons in the novel which are; all lives are interconnected to each other, importance of sacrifice, forgiveness, nature of love, and negative things can turn into strength. Also, Mitch Albom might be telling people in his dedication, who felt unimportant and think that they are worthless, to realized that they are mattered and they were loved.

I’ve really enjoyed reading “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”. It made me realized so much things that I can apply to my life. There is a part on the novel that I will not forget, which is the part when the blue man said that there are two sides of the story. It somehow catches my attention even though it is not included in five lessons, because I’ve always encounter situations where I needed to know both sides of the story to fully understand the situation and I’ve always given both side the benefit of the doubt so that I can avoid being biased. Among all five lessons stated in the novel, the third lesson, forgiveness, is my favorite part because I can relate myself to it. I, myself, experienced violence from my father, not physically but emotionally. Everyday I received hateful words from him. I felt pain in my chest every time I heard him saying those words to me but I didn’t talk back to him because my mother always said “Tatay mo yan kahit baliktarin mo ang mundo”, she said that I should respect my father even though he is like that. always forgive him for what he said. I didn’t hate him instead I tried to understand him and that’s where I let go of the pain. Lastly, I would likely to recommend this book to the person I know that is experiencing depression right now. I think people will be inspired after reading this novel and broaden their understanding in life.

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