The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

The Blue Man Character Analysis

A member of the human “freak show” at Ruby Pier during Eddie’s childhood, and one of the five people Eddie meets in heaven. He is an anxious, lonely, and forgiving man. Born Joseph Corvelzchik, his first memory is his mother lifting him over the ocean as they emigrated from Poland. As a small child, his parents forced him to work in a sweatshop out of economic desperation. He was then given silver nitrate for his nerves, which turned his skin the color blue. Shunned by society, he was invited to join a traveling circus. After years of traveling, he settled permanently at Ruby Pier, where he found community and a sense of home. He died from a heart attack, caused by the shock from a young Eddie running into the street after a lost ball on his birthday. The Blue Man teaches Eddie that all lives are connected, even strangers.

The Blue Man Quotes in The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The The Five People You Meet in Heaven quotes below are all either spoken by The Blue Man or refer to The Blue Man. 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 6 Quotes

People think of heaven as a paradise garden, a place where they can float on clouds and laze in rivers and mountains. But scenery without solace is meaningless. This is the greatest gift God can give you: to understand what happened in your life.

Related Characters: The Blue Man (speaker), Eddie, God
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Eddie has arrived in Heaven, but he's surprised to find that Heaven looks more or less like Ruby Pier, the place Eddie's just come from. Furthermore, Eddie finds himself talking to a figure he knew well when he (Eddie) was just a kid--the Blue Man, a carnival "freak." The Blue Man is the first person Eddie will meet in Heaven; as such, he gives Eddie some of the most basic lessons about Heaven. Here, he essentially explains what Heaven is "for."

The Blue Man suggests that the purpose of Eddie's time in Heaven is at first to do work, not just savor everlasting pleasure. Eddie must come to terms with his own life, understanding what he's accomplished during his time on the Earth. The notion that people who enter Heaven have to think on their lives--i.e., do some mental and emotional work--is surprising. And yet, the very fact that Eddie is in Heaven as he thinks back on his existence suggests that his contemplation will eventually bring him joy.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Five People You Meet in Heaven quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 10 Quotes

You are here so I can teach you something (…) That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind.

Related Characters: The Blue Man (speaker), Eddie
Page Number: 47-48
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, the Blue Man teaches Eddie one of the most basic lessons of the book--maybe the most basic one of all. All lives are connected, whether we like it or not. Those who try to live their lives separate from other lives are either foolish or in denial; they ignore a basic truth of the universe. As we've already seen, Eddie believed that his life was basically separate from the life of the Blue Man--and yet a little knowledge reveals that their two lives were closely and profoundly connected.

Eddie has learned the Blue Man's lesson; yet he'll struggle to understand it for the rest of the book. Eddie will meet other figures whose lives he influenced in major ways, and gradually, he'll begin to realize that his life wasn't lonely at all; it was actually eventful and exciting, albeit in ways Eddie himself never fully appreciated.

It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn’t just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed.

Related Characters: The Blue Man (speaker), Eddie
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

The message here, as delivered by the Blue Man, is that human beings naturally understand that all human lives are connected, particularly when it comes to living and dying. For example, the Blue Man lost his life in trying to protect the life of Eddie the 8-year-old child--one man's death allowed for another person's life.

All humans are naturally understand the importance of funerals and births--the Blue Man says this is because humans instinctively know that death and life are connected to each other. The passage is particularly interesting because it argues that we all know what the Blue Man is saying--it's just that during the course of our lives, we allow ourselves to become distracted from truth. The purpose of Eddie's time in Heaven, then, isn't to teach him new, exciting truths, but to remind him of what he secretly knew all along.

Strangers (…) are just family you have yet to come to know.”

Related Characters: The Blue Man (speaker), Eddie
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

The Blue Man gives Eddie another version of the same lessons he's been teaching: all lives are connected in tiny yet crucial ways. A human being isn't just connected to his friends and family--he's also connected to strangers. The Blue Man's message helps us understand the structure of the novel, as Eddie is going to meet lots of people whom he barely knows, and yet the life of each person Eddie is about to meet has been forever altered by Eddie's own actions, good or bad.

The Blue Man's message is both inspiring (if cliched) and intimidating. We tend to think that being a "good person" means living a good, peaceful life and not causing harm to anybody else. What the Blue Man is effectively saying is that we have no real control over our own lives--we're always on the verge of causing some unseen change in another person's life; we don't even know if the change will be good or bad. Humans like to pretend that they're in control of what they do and say, but the Blue Man (and Albom) is arguing that humans are only dimly aware of what they're really doing to other people.

No life is a waste (…) The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.

Related Characters: The Blue Man (speaker), Eddie
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

At the end of Chapter 3, the Blue Man gives Eddie a final piece of useful advice about the nature of life. The Blue Man has been telling Eddie that our lives are not really our own: everything we do has an effect on the people around us, often in ways that we're only dimly aware of. (For example, an innocent episode from Eddie's childhood caused the death of the Blue Man, unbeknownst to Eddie himself.)

What, then, should be the enlightened person's response to the Blue Man's lessons? How do we live our lives in a way that respects the complexity of the universe? (More pointedly, does it matter whether or not we respect the complexity of the universe? Seems like our lives are unpredictable either way.) The Blue Man suggests that one can attain a kind of "inner peace" by accepting that one's life is "bound up" in millions of other lives. There is, in effect, never a reason to feel lonely: we're always connected to other people.

Get the entire Five People LitChart as a printable PDF.
The five people you meet in heaven.pdf.medium

The Blue Man Character Timeline in The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The timeline below shows where the character The Blue Man appears in The Five People You Meet in Heaven. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
The Value in Ordinary Life Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
...a pitifully ugly man, and Eddie walks through a dark hall until he encounters the Blue Man —the first person Eddie will meet in heaven. Eddie recognizes the sad, calm expression of... (full context)
Chapter 6
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
Time Theme Icon
Eddie feels like he is dreaming. The Blue Man explains that he is dead and in heaven, and that he feels like a child... (full context)
Chapter 8
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
The Value in Ordinary Life Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
In heaven, Eddie denies killing the Blue Man . Calmly, the Blue Man tells his story. Born Joseph Corvelzchik, his first memory was... (full context)
Redemption and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
...his friends. The narrator now recounts the same story, only from the perspective of the Blue Man . The Blue Man is driving when suddenly he sees a boy run into the... (full context)
Chapter 10
Redemption and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
Eddie feels remorseful that the Blue Man died from his own foolish childhood mistake, and pleads with the Blue Man not to... (full context)
Redemption and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
The Cycle of Life and Death Theme Icon
The Blue Man transports Eddie to the memory of his funeral. Eddie realizes he was there as a... (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
The Blue Man embraces Eddie, and Eddie suddenly feels all of the emotions the Blue Man felt during... (full context)
Chapter 16
Redemption and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Connection Between All Humans Theme Icon
The Cycle of Life and Death Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Eddie remembers from the Blue Man that people waiting in heaven can make it look as they wish. He asks the... (full context)