When the color of the sky changes in Heaven, it signals a transition from one of Eddie's "Five People" to the next. The specific hues of the sky provide the mood and tone for Eddie's coming encounter. After Eddie's death, for example, Eddie awakes under a “misty pumpkin shade sky” (20), which is warm and comforting. This signals to Eddie that he is in a safe place (so, probably Heaven). Later, when Eddie meets his Captain, the sky changes to "charcoal grey," (56) a sign that he is going to have to face some dark truths about his life.
The sites of Eddie's Five "Meetings"
Eddie meets each of his "Five People" in that person's version of Heaven. Albom's descriptions of these specific backdrops help to bring the reader into Eddie's mindset during the time in his life he is about to revisit. He meets the Blue Man at the Ruby Pier of his childhood, when the Ferris wheel was brand-new and the boardwalk was filled with treasures. When Eddie lands in the Philippines to meet his Captain, Albom describes the terrain as "lifeless," and Eddie feels the "hot wind" blowing in his face as he crawls through the mud towards "a pourous wall of stringy vines that hung from a banyan tree" (57). This imagery shows that Eddie has suddenly entered the mindset of a soldier.
Albom frequently describes Eddie's movements through Heaven as "floating." When Eddie first arrives, he floats "over a vast yellow sea" (22). As soon as Eddie’s feet touch the ground, he bounds upwards and floats through the air, seemingly weightless above the landscape of Heaven. Albom uses the image of Eddie floating to indicate that earth's physical limitations do not necessarily apply to Heaven. Additionally, the "floating" imagery is a reminder Eddie's goal throughout the novel: to unload all of his earthly burdens so that he can enter eternity.
Ligt and Shadows
Albom carefully describes the light around certain people when Eddie sees them in Heaven. There is only enough light around the Blue Man to highlight his skin - allowing Eddie to identify him but hinting at the mystery around the Blue Man's connection to Eddie's life. The light around the Captain is grey and dark, showing that Eddie has sad memories of his last encounters with his commanding officer. Later, Eddie meets Marguerite outside, and she is lit by the "sun... fading behind a ribbon of white clouds" (154). After their wedding, Eddie remembers walking with her through "pools of lamplight" (155). These images illustrate the fact that Marguerite was the bright spot in Eddie's life; she was a candle to guide him through the darkness.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
They do a lot of work with each other. Eddie's marriage relationship is strained over the fact that they will no longer be able to afford adoption. They eventually work through this emotional roadblock and become close again.
This was the Ruby Pier of his childhood, some 75 years ago, only everything was new, freshly scrubbed. Over there was the Loop-the-Loop ride—which had been torn down decades ago—and over there the bathhouses and...