Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Five People You Meet In Heaven By: Mitch Albom

The Five People You Meet In Heaven By: Mitch Albom tells the story of Eddie a worker at Ruby Pier a local amusement park who dies on his 83rd birthday trying to save a little girl from being crushed by one of the rides. Eddie then awakes in heaven where he is to be taught the meaning of his life on earth by five people in heaven whose lives intertwined with his in one way or another.

The first person Eddie meets in heaven is known only as "The Blue Man". Eddie is taken back to the Ruby Pier he grew up in over 75 years ago. While moving around the park he finds "The Blue Man" and proceeds to take Eddie on a flashback to when he was a little kid playing catch with his brother. His brother throws the ball over his head and when he goes to get it is almost hit with a car which we find out to be The Blue Man's car. He then goes on to say that the scare he got from almost hitting Eddie caused his already weak heart (from taking bad medicine which is what caused his skin to turn blue) to have a fatal heart attack. Eddie is devastated when he learns he killed him, however The Blue Man goes onto explain Eddie's first lesson that everything in life is connected and that their are no random acts. Everything has a purpose.

The second person Eddie meets in heaven is his Captain from World War Two. His Captain takes him on a flashback to the night they escaped from a prison camp to show him that when Eddie was shot trying to rescue a girl he thought he saw in a burning hut that it was really his Captain who shot him to save him from burning to death in the fire. Eddie is furious when he learns this and attempts to beat his Captain which causes no harm to his Captain. The Captain then shows his own death which happened later that night trying to get Eddie to the hospital. This is where Eddie learns his second lesson which is "sacrafice" (93). He explains that sacrafice is something to be proud of and not something to regret. Before Eddie leaves he asks his Captain if he saved the girl but his Captain refuses to tell him.

The third person Eddie meets in heaven is Ruby. Ruby Pier was named after Ruby by her rich husband, however one night the pier was engulfed in a huge fire which crippled Ruby's husband leaving her to take care of him for the rest of her life. Ruby then explains how Eddie's father died. Eddie's father walked in on his drunk friend grabbing his wife and chased him to the pier late at night where he had to save his drunk friend from drowning. Ruby explains that you must learn to forgive. Ruby was at the hospital sharing a room with Eddie's dad when he died and she was the only one to hear his dad crying for Eddie and the rest of his family.

The fourth person Eddie meets in heaven is his wife who had died many years before him of a tumor. Eddie had always felt she had been taken away from him prematurely. Eddies and his wife spend what seems like days just talking about everything they can think of and reconncecting after such a long time of being apart. After all this is over she explains the fourth lesson Eddie learns which is that even though she died their love hadn't it had only taken another form.

The fivth and final person Eddie meets in heaven is a little girl named Tala. When Eddie escaped captivity during world war two he burned down the camp he was held in. In one of the burning huts he thought he saw a little girl however, he believed it was only his imagination. Tala points out that it was actually her inside the hut and she had died. Tala is suddenly covered with hideous burns all over her body and as pennance Eddie must wipe away all of her scars and burns using a rock. After he has done this Tala reveals to Eddie the purpose of his life which was to keep children safe at Ruby Pier.

What do you think heaven is like?

DO you think Mitch Albom has left us with a possibility for what heaven might be like?


Lisa T. 1-2 said...

While Mitch Albom's portrayal of Heaven can be interpreted in different ways, I saw it as closure, rather than a literal location. Before Eddie could fully arrive in Heaven, he had to understand that the amusement park played a part in an interconnected world, and so did everything he did and all the people he knew. In the end, life is inspirational. There is no such thing as random acts. Eddie had to understand that in order to be at peace with himself and satisfied with his life. In this way, reaching Heaven is accepting death and allowing new beginnings.

Kyle N.1-2 said...

I think this is Mitch Albom's portrayal of Heaven. Even though it is described in the Bible, most people have their own ideas and thoughts about Heaven. No one knows what it is actually like, so yes, Mitch Albom's idea is a possibility of Heaven. I believe there will be no pain, suffering, sin, and there will be no wrong. But everyone has their own interpretation, so mine might not be right for everyone.

Miranda R. 7-8 said...

I think that Heaven will be a place of happiness and joy. There will be no pain and all will be at peace. I do believe Mitch Albom gives us an idea of what Heaven could be like because his portrayal shows a place where all the worries on earth are sorted out and a person may find peace.

Anonymous said...

1. I read this book last year and I really enjoyed it. Before reading this book I just thought Heaven was a bunch of clouds and a ray of light but now Mitch Albom has left a picture in my mind. Now I think of Heaven as one specific place where something very important happened in your life. I think that while you are in Heaven you could wander around your specific place and meet some important people to help explain your life but also your friends and loved ones.

AnaleeL7-8 said...

I believe heaven is different for everyone. I think that heaven is what the individual would want their perfect world to be.

Hannah J. 7-8 said...

I think heaven would be like a big messed up combination of everyone's ideal utopias. Yes, i do think Mitch Albom has left us with a possibility of what heaven might be like. With that i also think he left us an example of first going through pergatory and then to heaven.

Andrew C 7-8 said...

I do think when a person is dying, he looks at how his life impacted others. Mitch Albom just took this one step further by allowing Eddie to talk to persons that crosses his path in life. It makes the reader think about how life can change by the action of others. I think Mitch Albom wants the reader to think about what heaven might be like and how the reader can change the path of others to get there.