The Five People You Meet in Heaven

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Marguerite Character Analysis

Eddie’s only love interest, a sunny and energetic woman. Like Eddie’s mother, she is kind and gentle, and preoccupied mainly with her husband and having children. However, in contrast with Eddie’s mother, Marguerite exerts her wishes somewhat more freely. While Eddie dreams of greatness away from Ruby Pier, Marguerite makes the best of their situation in the present. Her primary goal is to have children, but she is infertile. Her attempt to arrange an adoption fails when she gets into a car accident that drains their financial resources. Marguerite is the central source of Eddie’s happiness, and his life plunges when she dies of brain cancer at the age of 47. In heaven, she takes Eddie to a heaven full of weddings, where she teaches him that true love never dies.

Marguerite Quotes in The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The The Five People You Meet in Heaven quotes below are all either spoken by Marguerite or refer to Marguerite. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Redemption and Forgiveness Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Hachette Books edition of The Five People You Meet in Heaven published in 2006.
Chapter 1 Quotes

For the rest of his life, whenever he thought of Marguerite, Eddie would see that moment, her waving over her shoulder, her dark hair falling over one eye, and he would feel the same arterial burst of love.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Eddie, Marguerite
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

With less than twenty minutes left to live (though he doesn't know this), Eddie thinks about the love of his life, and his wife of many years: Marguerite. This passage is interesting because although Eddie's thoughts of Marguerite seem unexpected and unmotivated at this particular point, they make a certain amount of sense from our perspective--Eddie is thinking about the love of his life, just a few minutes before his life comes to an end.

The passage also shows us that Eddie, while lonely in the present, wasn't always so isolated. He's clearly capable of love for other people, and has received love in the past, making his current loneliness especially sympathetic. Eddie isn't a bad guy by any means--quite the contrary--but he's allowed himself to get weighed down with cynicism and self-doubt.

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Chapter 14 Quotes

As always with Marguerite, Eddie mostly wants to freeze time.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Eddie, Marguerite
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Eddie thinks about his beloved girlfriend (and later wife), Marguerite. In the flashback, Eddie kisses Marguerite and tries to tell her to wait for him--amazingly, Marguerite seems to read Eddie's mind, and promises that she'll wait for him to return from the war. Eddie's love for Marguerite is clear: he even wishes that he could freeze time forever and savor his moment with Marguerite, instead of going off to battle.

The passage is especially interesting because the entirety of the novel is devoted to the idea that human beings can't freeze time; i.e., time and life happen to all of us, whether we like it or not. Eddie's desire to escape from time is poignant, then, because no human being can do so: we all go through life influencing people in unexpected ways.

Chapter 21 Quotes

How can he explain such sadness when she is supposed to make him happy? (…) She looks beautiful wearing the print dress Eddie likes, her hair and lips done up. Eddie feels the need to inhale, as if undeserving of such a moment. He fights the darkness within him. “Leave me alone,” he tells it. “Let me feel this way, I should feel it.”

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Eddie, Marguerite
Related Symbols: Color and Darkness
Page Number: 118-119
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, we see the long-term effects of Eddie's tragic inability to express his feelings. Eddie has been trained to believe in backwards masculine ideals--he's told to keep his feelings bottled up, proving his strength and toughness. As a result, Eddie doesn't know how to tell his beloved wife, Marguerite, about his post-traumatic stress, a result of his service in World War II. Eddie even comes to believe that he's supposed to feel dark and depressed as a result of his military service--machismo tells him that depression is somehow a sign of his maturity.

Eddie loves Marguerite deeply, but because of the culture in which he was raised, he's unsure how to communicate with her, and as a result, their marriage deteriorates.

Chapter 28 Quotes

What people find then is a certain love. And Eddie found a certain love with Marguerite, a grateful love, a deep and quiet love, but one that he knew, above all else, was irreplaceable. Once she’d gone (…) he put his heart to sleep.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Eddie, Marguerite
Page Number: 155-156
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Eddie is reunited with Marguerite, the love of his life. Although we've known about Marguerite for some time, it's only now that we truly understand why she was so special to Eddie. Eddie has always had a tough time showing his feelings--therefore, it was hard for him to make friends and meet people. In Marguerite, Eddie found someone who understood him intuitively--who didn't have to ask him lots of questions or pester him for the truth. Marguerite is, perhaps, the closest thing to a saint in the novel--selflessly, she sacrifices her own needs and happiness for the sake of her husband.

The passage is an interesting example of the controversial way Albom portrays women--more often than not, he depicts them as perfect, moral creatures, whose great purpose on the Earth is to care for complex, conflicted men.

That was my choice (…) A world of weddings, behind every door. Oh, Eddie, it never changes, when the groom lifts the veil, when the bride accepts the ring (…) They truly believe their love and their marriage is going to break all the records…

Related Characters: Marguerite (speaker), Eddie
Related Symbols: Birthdays and Celebrations
Page Number: 156-157
Explanation and Analysis:

Albom's depictions of women in the novel are respectful and yet arguably one-dimensional. Here, for instance, Eddie reunites with Marguerite, his wife, in Heaven--and he's surprised to see that Marguerite sees Heaven as "full of weddings." Marguerite explains that she sees Heaven as a place for weddings because weddings are a defining part of the human experience--they're the moment when two people are on their best behavior and show their love for one another, feeling idealistic and hopeful about the power of their love.

The fact that Marguerite should see Heaven as a place for weddings reflects the truth that her role in the novel is defined purely by the fact that she's Eddie's husband. We don't really know much about Marguerite, except that she's the perfect, saintly wife--we don't know her personality or idiosyncrasies, and Albom doesn't give her the kind of complex inner life that he gives Eddie, the Captain, etc. In the novel, more often than not, women exist to steer complex, emotionally damaged men on the path toward Heaven.

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Marguerite Character Timeline in The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The timeline below shows where the character Marguerite appears in The Five People You Meet in Heaven. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
The Value in Ordinary Life Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
...described as his “usual spot.” Sitting there, he begins to remember the day he met Marguerite, his “one true-love.” This was years before, when they were both teenagers at Ruby Pier.... (full context)
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
The Cycle of Life and Death Theme Icon
The Value in Ordinary Life Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
...minutes left to live, the novel returns to Eddie, warmly remembering his first dance with Marguerite at Ruby Pier on the dance floor once called the “Stardust Band Shell.” The Judy... (full context)
Chapter 13
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The Cycle of Life and Death Theme Icon
The Value in Ordinary Life Theme Icon
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...“Crazies” force the unit into a dark coalmine. At night, Eddie holds a photo of Marguerite that he keeps crumpled up in his helmet, and bargains with God to return him... (full context)
Chapter 14
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The Cycle of Life and Death Theme Icon
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...sending him off with an emotional birthday celebration. Throughout the night Eddie thinks of asking Marguerite to wait for him, but he can’t bring himself to ask her, even as they... (full context)
Chapter 16
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The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
The Cycle of Life and Death Theme Icon
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...doesn’t know. He then gives Eddie his old helmet with his old crushed-up photo of Marguerite inside, and Eddie’s “heart aches.” (full context)
Chapter 19
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...in a Veteran Affairs hospital, after being returned home from war. His mother, father, brother, Marguerite, and Mickey Shea come into his room with a cake, singing “Happy Birthday.” Eddie wakes... (full context)
Chapter 21
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...as he wakes, making him feel detached and unmotivated. He fears explaining this darkness to Marguerite, because he thinks she is “supposed to make him happy.” That night, when Eddie returns... (full context)
Chapter 22
Redemption and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
The Cycle of Life and Death Theme Icon
The Value in Ordinary Life Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...mother is deeply distressed, and she hardly ever leaves her husband’s hospital room. Eddie and Marguerite spend all of their time taking care of his mother, while Eddie tries to help... (full context)
Redemption and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
The Cycle of Life and Death Theme Icon
The Value in Ordinary Life Theme Icon
...After his father’s death, Eddie’s mother starts to lose touch with reality, and Eddie and Marguerite decide to move in with her. Eddie starts working full-time at Ruby Pier, because the... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...at Brighton. Noel invites him to the horse tracks that night, and Eddie thinks of Marguerite and hesitates—but then says yes anyway. (full context)
Chapter 26
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...“For the bitter and the sweet.” As she approaches, Eddie recognizes her as a young Marguerite, and he falls to his knees. (full context)
Chapter 27
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
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...has a new job as a salesman, making good money. Eddie is rife with jealousy. Marguerite is working at the ticket booth now, and she comes in looking for Eddie. As... (full context)
Chapter 28
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Eddie is stunned to see Marguerite in heaven, and insists that it can’t be her. He falls onto her shoulder, crying... (full context)
Redemption and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
The Cycle of Life and Death Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
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Marguerite tells Eddie that she also met five people in heaven, and learned things, and that... (full context)
Chapter 29
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The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
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...Eddie bets again after every time he wins, trying to double his money. He calls Marguerite to tell her he is winning, but she is angry and yells at him. They... (full context)
Chapter 30
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The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
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After Marguerite’s accident, she is hospitalized and then bed-ridden for six months. Because of the medical expenses... (full context)
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The Cycle of Life and Death Theme Icon
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Time Theme Icon
A few years later, Marguerite is cooking in the kitchen when suddenly her hand freezes, she feels dizzy, and falls... (full context)
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In heaven, all Eddie wants is time with Marguerite. They spend countless nights and days, talking and walking through Marguerite’s world of weddings. Eddie... (full context)
Chapter 31
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The Value in Ordinary Life Theme Icon
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After a long time in heaven, Marguerite tells Eddie that she knows he was angry with her for dying. He eventually admits... (full context)
Chapter 33
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Surrounded by silence and whiteness, Eddie misses Marguerite terribly. He feels nothing, and a long time passes in that empty place. He then... (full context)
Chapter 34
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It is Eddie’s fifty-first birthday, his first birthday since Marguerite died. He remembers how much he hated his birthdays in the years after Marguerite’s accident,... (full context)
Chapter 35
Redemption and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
The Cycle of Life and Death Theme Icon
The Value in Ordinary Life Theme Icon
...as he floats above the boardwalk. He then comes to the big Ferris wheel, where Marguerite is sitting and waiting for him. Eddie hears the voice of God say: “Home.” (full context)