Pay It Forward vs the Five People You Meet in Heaven

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C.S. Lewis's take on literature spectacularly and accurately encompases the opinions of many, “Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.” The words of an author or script often influence the lives of a person, bringing the audience to tears, joy, or anger. Sharing themes of love, generosity, and child abuse, the novel The Five People You Meet in Heaven and the film Pay It Forward diverge on a few levels, but also parallel. In Mitch Albom's novel The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Eddie's wife Marguerite never loses her love for him, even after death. For years she waits watching acts of timeless love take place. She attends wedding after wedding, saving her own to watch last with her long lost husband. Mitch Albom explains love remains the strongest emotion by stating, "Love, like rain, can nourish from above, drenching couples with soaking joy" (164). Love, in its power, brings courage and trust to all who experience it. Like Eddie, Eugene Simonet is presented with the challenge of showing his love to the woman who earns it. Love's power is displayed as such when Eugene removes his shirt, bearing the scars of his past. Also, earlier in the film Arley says to him, "You look good to me" (Pay It Forward). Sharing his injuries clearly displays the passion and power of love. Therefore, on the level of love, the novel The Five People You Meet in Heaven and the film Pay It Forward compare. However, when it comes to generosity, the works contrast. By living a life that was meaningless in his opinion, Eddie never realizes how helpful and generous he really was on Earth until the very last leg of his journey. According to Eddie, he "...had a nothing life..." (Albom 64). He never understands working on machines and rides saves lives every day. He sees it as a good-for-nothing job; it...
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