Free Study Guide Summary for The Five People You Meet In Heaven|
BOOK SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS
CHAPTER 2 - The Journey
We now know that Eddie has reached his afterlife. It is unclear why he is at Ruby Pier, especially the Ruby Pier 75 years prior to his death.
The Blue Man is the first person Eddie meets in heaven. He tells his story about how he became a member of the freak show:
He was a poor immigrant and a very nervous child. He had a falling out with his father and often wet his bed. The Blue Man went to a chemist to get some help for his nerves and he gave the Blue Man a bottle of silver nitrate. Silver nitrate was later considered a poison, but the Blue Man drank it every night; it turned his skin blue. One night in a saloon, the Blue Man was discovered by a group of carnival men. One winter he came to Ruby Pier and decided to live there. The Blue Man loved how he could play cards at night with the other sideshow workers, and could even walk along the beach without scaring people.
This is where we find out why Eddie is at Ruby Pier, after his death; the Blue Man states, "Do you understand? Why we're here? This is not your heaven. It's mine" (42). Ruby Pier is not Eddie's heaven, as he had originally thought; it is the Blue Man's heaven.
The Blue Man then explains how Eddie killed him:
The Blue Man had borrowed his friend's Ford Model A to practice his driving. Eddie's baseball bounces into the street and he runs into the street after it. The Blue Man slams on his breaks and yanks at the wheel. The Blue Man managed to regain control of the car; however, he was still so nervous that he had almost hit Eddie. He feels dizzy and his head falls for a moment, causing his car to almost collide with another. He skids down the street and pulls into an alley and ends up colliding with a truck. No one found him in the alley until he had already died.
The chapter then brings us to Eddie's eighth birthday. His mother is dressing him for a funeral and Eddie does not understand where they are going and for what. Since reading the chapter we can infer that it was the Blue Man's funeral and we see the bit of irony that Eddie was the one who killed him and he did not even know whose funeral he was attending.
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Radisch, Sharon. "TheBestNotes on The Five People You Meet in Heaven".
. 11 May 2008