The Five People You Meet in Heaven

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The Five People You Meet in Heaven Chapter 33 Summary & Analysis

Surrounded by silence and whiteness, Eddie misses Marguerite terribly. He feels nothing, and a long time passes in that empty place. He then begins to hear a loud shrieking sound, which he remembers from his recurring nightmare about the burning village in the Philippines. Eddie gets angry, remembering how the sound has haunted him through his life. Eventually, the whiteness turns into a river, where children are swimming and laughing. Eddie realizes the sound from his dreams wasn’t screaming or pain, but the happy shrieking of playing children. The river is full of dark-skinned children, and no adults are there. On a hill, Eddie sees a young girl waving toward him. Suddenly, he finds himself standing in front of her.
Eddie’s perception of things again turns out to be subjective, and influenced more by his own feelings than by reality. The nightmare screams that have haunted him all his life turn out to be (or are transformed in heaven to be) children laughing, showing Eddie’s tendency towards pessimism. Eddie continues to see the destruction instead of the beauty underneath things, just as when he was with the Captain and saw the decimated version of the jungle, while the Captain saw it lush and regrown. The mysterious young girl echoes the girl Eddie died trying to save.
Redemption and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Cycle of Life and Death Theme Icon
The Value in Ordinary Life Theme Icon