The Five People You Meet in Heaven Study Guide

Chapter 10: The Fourth Lesson

Marguerite leads Eddie through another door into a room which resembles that of their wedding reception. They dance and Eddie asks her to return to herself, right before she died, at age 47. She changes herself back to her older age; they dance some more and she disappears.

Dominguez and an estate attorney go to Eddie's apartment to search for his documents. Dominguez rummages through Eddie's drawer and finds a box containing a bow tie, Chinese restaurant menu, deck of cards, a letter and an army metal, and the picture of Eddie and the children from his 38th birthday. They find a couple of documents and leave the apartment.

Notes

Marguerite teaches Eddie his fourth lesson which is the power of love. She tells Eddie that although people may eventually pass away, their love will endure even after their death. Although her life ended before Eddies, her love for him endured and will continue to forever.


Chapter 11: The Fifth Person Eddie Meets in Heaven

Eddie now finds himself in a purely white and silent setting. He hears a horrifying noise and notices that he is clenching his cane; his body is old and in pain just as it was before he died. The white setting disappears and turns into a river where children are happily playing. Eddie sees a young girl motioning for him to come to her.

Eddie's 51st birthday was his first without Marguerite. He is very depressed and goes about his normal daily business with no birthday celebration or guests. This pattern does not change for his remaining birthdays. On his 82nd birthday he visits the graves of his mother, father and Marguerite; he dreams of the taffy Marguerite used to buy him for his birthday and wishes she was around so he could eat it with her.

In heaven, Eddie makes Tala a dog out of the pipe cleaners which are still in his pocket. Tala tells Eddie that he has burned her with a fire. Eddie realizes that there was a child crawling in the fire, during the war, and that it is she. Her skin became burned again, and she asked Eddie to wash her. As he washes her, her skin gradually turns back to normal, free of scars and burn marks. Eddie tells Tala how sad he is because he feels that he had not done anything important with his life. Eddie once again asks if he had saved the little girl from the falling amusement; Tala finally tells Eddie that he had saved her by pushing her out of the way. It was Tala's hands that Eddie had felt right before his death; she was bringing him to heaven. Eddie felt himself be pulled away under water where all of his pain, weariness, scars and bad memories were washed away. He is lifted above a pier and finally rejoined with Marguerite.

Notes

At the beginning of this chapter we see how sad Eddie was after Marguerite died. Although he seemed to be depressed anyway, while he was with Marguerite, we see that she was a key factor in giving him some sort of happiness, especially on his birthdays.

Tala’s significance is very important for bringing Eddie’s life into perspective. When Eddie returned from the war, he had frequent nightmares about the night that he burned down the camp. That night he swore he saw a small child crawling around in the fire. The Captain and the other soldiers thought he was merely hallucinating, which was common for soldiers suffering from war trauma. Throughout the remainder of his life, Eddie knew in his heart that something had been in that fire. When Eddie meets Tala, all of his questions are answered.

Tala tells Eddie that he killed her in a fire and he immediately knows that she was the innocent child trapped in the hut. Eddie screams and lets out his frustration, which he probably wanted to do his whole life. Tala’s burns reappear and she asks Eddie to wash her. As Eddie washes her, the burn marks dissipate and she returns to her natural self. This seems to be Tala’s way for forgiving Eddie and allowing him to heal her and fix what he had done to her.

During the fifth lesson, Tala tells Eddie that his life did have a purpose: he was meant to work at Ruby Pier and keep the children safe.

Chapter 12: Epilogue

Ruby Pier re-opened three days after the accident. The ride, which had collapsed, reopened the next year with a new name, Daredevil Drop. Eddie's apartment was rented to a new tenant who covered the window with leaded glass, blocking the view of the carousel. Dominguez saved some of Eddie's possessions in the maintenance shop and took over his job. Nicky, whose key caused Freddy's Free Fall to break, had a new key made and sold his car a few months later. As the seasons came and left, Ruby Pier continued to attract crowds large enough to maintain its business.

Notes

The epilogue allows us to see the changes in Ruby Pier after Eddie’s death. The amusements are becoming more complicated and daring as the times change and people demand more excitement. Also Nicky, whose key caused Freddy’s Free Fall to break at the start of the story, goes about his daily life not knowing the damages his key had caused. We can make a valid assumption that when Nicky dies, Eddie will be one of the five people he meets in heaven.

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Radisch, Sharon. "TheBestNotes on The Five People You Meet in Heaven". TheBestNotes.com. . 09 May 2017
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