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The Five People You Meet in Heaven. By Mitch Albom. Setting. Ruby Pier An amusement park How is it different from today’s amusement parks? Why do you think the author chose this setting? What do you think this setting might represent?. Setting. Ruby Pier

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  • Ruby Pier
    • An amusement park
    • How is it different from today’s amusement parks?
    • Why do you think the author chose this setting?
    • What do you think this setting might represent?
  • Ruby Pier
    • Can represent the changes in life that many must grow to accept
    • Brings together many different people in an unusual setting
    • Shows the changes in Eddie’s life


  • The central character in a work of literature
  • Not necessarily the “good guy”
  • Q: Who is this protagonist?
  • A: Eddie
  • Q: Eddie exists in a "weary state of acceptance" (5).
  • What do you think the author means by this statement. How did Eddie come to be in this state?

Q: How does the author reveal Eddie’s character to you?

  • A: Through the telling of Eddie’s birthdays-
  • Q: Do you like Eddie? Why or why not?
  • Q: How does Eddie’s relationship with his father affect your opinion of him?
  • Q: Albom writes: "People say they 'find' love, as if it were an object by a rock. But love takes many forms, and it is never the same for any man and woman. What people find then is a certain love" (155). Discuss Albom's idea of love. What kind of love did Eddie and Marguerite share?
  • Theme is the central idea of a work of literature, sometimes the “lesson” or “moral”
  • Make a list of possible themes in The Five People You Meet in Heaven
  • Love; "No story sits by itself"(10);
  • life has a circular nature
  • learn to live nobly and well
  • Learn to be a better person
  • learning to be "loyal to one another" (138) because life is circular, it all comes back.
  • All lives are connected
  • All lives have a purpose
  • Etc…
theme cont d
Theme cont’d.
  • Q: Choose one theme and explain how Albom sustains it throughout the book
  • A:Through hindsight, flashbacks. We are given insight into Eddie's life through both the stories each of the Five People teach him, and the birthdays.
  • Q: Is one theme more pronounced than the next?
  • A: All the themes are interconnected -- the circular nature of life.
  • Q: Trace the cause for the malfunction of Freddy's Free Fall ride to Eddie's death. What does the cause of Eddie's death have to do with the theme of the book?
  • A:The ride's cable snapped because a car key had fallen into exactly the wrong place "at a most precise moment" (17). Over time, the cable scraped up against a locked pulley until it was completely severed. Nicky, to whom the key belonged, is the great-grandson of Ruby. The act of dropping the car key links Nicky to Eddie; as the Blue Man tells Eddie "we are all connected" (48).
more about theme
More About Theme
  • Q:How does Albom's method of viewing the same story "from two different angles" (42) strengthen the book's themes?
  • A: This technique allows the reader to think about how our actions affect others, to realize that our choices do affect others, sometimes quite seriously. It reinforces Albom's message of the circular nature of life.
more about theme1
More about Theme
  • Q: Which do you believe in, chance or free will?
  • Think about the Blue Man's conversation with Eddie as a starting point, when he tells Eddie that there are "no random acts," and that fairness "does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die so young" (48). Eddie's actions as a young man unknowingly killed the Blue Man. Is this fair?
  • Q: Consider the book's themes in relation to Eddie's last act on earth – that of saving the child. How are the themes connected to this?
  • A: Most themes are apparent in Eddie's last act on earth.
    • There are no random acts – the car key caused the accident that in turn kills Eddie, who sacrifices his life for the little girl's.
    • During the war, even in the act of murdering his captives, Eddie had love and compassion for others – he thought he saw a movement in the hut and so, driven by the power of love(he had already miraculously let go of the anger he harbored for his captors), he investigated the hut, despite the fact that his body was aflame.