The Five People You Meet in Heaven
In the novel, The Five People You Meet In Heaven, the meaning of Eddie's life is revealed by the five people he meets before entering heaven. At first glance it may seem as if Eddie's life had no meaning, as Eddie thought it did. However every life has a meaning and Eddie's life is changed by the people he meets.
Throughout Eddie's life he thought he was a failure, he gave up on his engineering goal after returning from war. Eddie fell in to the same routine as many of us do, he started to do something and felt comfortable doing it. Sometimes it is hard to leave our comfort zones and Eddie certainly never left his. He even lived in the same apartment he grew up in, the one with the view of the carousel on Ruby Pier. Eddie doesn't know it on Earth but he touches the lives of many children. He makes them pipe cleaner animals and more importantly he keeps the rides safe for them to ride on. Eddie doesn't know this either, but it all goes back to that day when his crew escaped from the POW camp. He burned that barn and thought there was someone in it and there was, a little girl. The world is all about balance and because Eddie killed an innocent little girl he would spend the rest of his life saving the lives of innocent little children. This is the meaning of Eddie's life, to give his own to save the lives of many others.
The person who affected Eddie the most is his father. Parents have the most profound impact on their children, more than everything else combined. Eddie's father didn't speak to him much and this probably made Eddie think that he was not doing something right. Eddie didn't know it at the time but all those summers spent helping his dad at Ruby Pier sealed his fate, to be like his father. As much as Eddie didn't want to live the life of his dad he couldn't help it. War changes people, and not for the good. Men become depressed and sad and often loose sight of their...