Free Study Guide Summary for The Five People You Meet In Heaven|
CHAPTER SUMMARY WITH NOTES
CHAPTER 5 - The Second Person Eddie Meets in Heaven
Right after Eddie and the remaining prisoners escape, they steal the enemies’ weapons and decide to destroy the prison they had lived in for almost half a year. As the hut went up in flames Eddie thought he saw an innocent child crawl into the hut. He ran in after it, caught on fire and was shot in the leg. His buddies rolled him around in the dirt until he was no longer on fire. He then remembers being carted away in a transport vehicle.
tells Eddie that it was he who shot him. He did not want Eddie to burn to death
and he knew Eddie would hurt him if he tried to get him out of the hut. Eddie
is furious at the Captain for ruining the rest of his life; he beats him furiously,
not harming him. Eddie then learns that the Captain died later that night trying
to secure a path for the vehicle containing Eddie and the two other soldiers.
We see many clues in this chapter that tell us Eddie had served in World War II. Before Eddie had gone to war, he mentioned that during the Depression, roller coasters had become too expensive for Ruby Pier; they were replaced by a number of new and smaller rides. The Great Depression began on October 29, 1929, with the collapse of the stock prices on the New York Stock Exchange. The Great Depression lasted up until WWII. Eddie also was fighting and taken prisoner on a Philippine island, which is where a lot of fighting took place during WWII.
When Eddie finds the Captain in the tree, he asks Eddie if he can still juggle. This foreshadows that Eddie's juggling must have been significant during some point in the war. We find out towards the end of the chapter that it was Eddie's juggling which allowed him and the other prisoners to kill the guards, which then allowed them to escape to safety.
In this chapter we finally learn more about Eddie and Marguerite’s relationship. Eddie is probably around eighteen or nineteen years old and it is apparent that they are dating. She arrives at Eddie's house and he gets butterflies in his stomach and fills with love for her. Later that night Marguerite tells Eddie that she will wait for him to come back from the war. At that moment Eddie feels that he will never love anyone more than he loves her.
The flashbacks to the war, in this chapter, tell us how Eddie's life has changed afterwards. He thought he saw a child crawling into the burning hut. He became sickened by the war: the murders, captivity and the futility of it all. He merely wanted to salvage something and was convinced that there was an innocent soul inside the burning hut. The Captain shot Eddie in the leg to keep him from running further into the hut and burning to death. When Eddie finds this out he is furious with the Captain. Eddie's life had never been the same after his injury. For the rest of his life Eddie was haunted by that one mistake he had made by running back into the burning hut. After his injury, he could no longer run or dance.
Eddie then learns that the Captain had died that evening trying to help with their escape. He got out of the vehicle to make sure the path was clear and safe; however, he stepped on a land mine, which exploded right under him.
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Radisch, Sharon. "TheBestNotes on The Five People You Meet in Heaven".
. 11 May 2008