Throughout the novel, Eddie’s encounters with the five people he meets in heaven teach him about the surprising ways in which life and death offer opportunities for redemption. He learns about the full extent of his own and others’ transgressions, and consequently moves through anger, regret and forgiveness on his way to finding peace.
The harm Eddie causes others is often unintentional, as his actions are full of unintended consequences. As a child, he unknowingly…(read full theme analysis)
All the characters within the novel are connected in unexpected ways, even when their lives are separate and they don’t ever meet on earth. Eddie barely remembers the Blue Man, and yet he caused his death and became a memorable part of the Blue Man’s understanding of his own life on Earth. Eddie’s time in the war was marked forever by his haunting memory of a shadow in the village fire he started, which…(read full theme analysis)
Throughout the novel, Eddie struggles to see value in his life, which he sees as ordinary and filled with unmet dreams and plans. Having never left Ruby Pier to study engineering or make a life for himself elsewhere, he believes his life was devoid of accomplishment and therefore meaningless. But the novel, by describing the nuance and detail of every period of Eddie’s life, shows the beauty inherent in all of the moments and relationships…(read full theme analysis)
Time is used to mark significant moments and periods in Eddie’s life, as well as to show the fluidity between life and death. Time is always moving forward, and yet by telling the story in out-of-order episodes, Albom creates the sense that time is not necessarily linear—particularly from the point of view of eternity and heaven.
In between stories of Eddie’s encounters with the five people in heaven, there are short snapshots from Eddie’s life…(read full theme analysis)
While gender roles are not directly discussed in the novel, strong differences exist between Albom’s depictions of female and male characters, to the point that gender roles become an important theme. The primary difference in the portrayal of men and women is that the novel’s female characters are nearly all defined by their relationships to male characters, while male characters are defined by their goals, occupations, and actions. Several male characters are mentioned as not…(read full theme analysis)