The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven Symbols

Ruby Pier is the amusement park on the ocean where Eddie works in maintenance for most of his life. A place of both great celebration and great pain for Eddie and others, the park represents…

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Throughout the novel, the ocean represents both destruction and new beginnings. Powerfully beautiful and yet dangerous, it is a constant at Ruby Pier. To Ruby, the ocean represents how ambition can turn into destruction…

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Eddie’s job in maintenance represents the ordinary routines, relationships, and efforts to “keep going” that add shape and momentum to everyday life. Eddie’s job, like his life, is about maintaining the status quo—he doesn’t…

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After his death, Eddie travels through endlessly changing colors in between the phases of heaven. As stated directly during the final pages of the novel, Eddie discovers that these colors represent the ever-changing “emotions of…

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The novel flashes back and forth between Eddie’s passage through heaven and the retelling of his life story, using birthdays to mark each episode of Eddie’s life. Birthdays and other celebrations thus represent the…

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