The protagonist is able to end the conflicts facing him in the book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. The first conflict facing him was Eddie versus himself. When he was growing up, he did not have the want to work at Ruby Pier, the same place where his dad worked. After the war, he became very angry and depressed. He did not have another job opportunity and required skills, so he had to go back to work at Ruby Pier, and moved back to the same building where he grew up in because he had to look after his mother. He had a lot of regrets, anger and hatred but this conflict gets resolved when he meets Tala. She helps him to see that his life has a meaning and purpose, since he kept his children safe. The other conflict is between Eddie and his father (Kaminski and Albon, 60). His father neglected him as he grew up and never showed him any love. He would drink and violently beat Eddie, which makes him feel that his father destroyed his life through violence, neglect and silence. Ruby helps Eddie to resolve this conflict by teaching him to forgive his father and leave all the anger behind.
Eddie is a light hearted and kind man, who cares for the people around him even though he does not show it. He makes children feel safe and takes care of them even though he does not play with them. The captain was a tough military guy, liked by the other soldiers for his leadership, though he had a short temper. He made a promise that he would "leave no one behind,” regardless of the situation. This gave the soldiers some comfort, and revealed his caring character. Eddie’s father was a drunkard and a violent man, who always attacked his sons when he was drunk. He never told any encouraging words. He destroys his sons’ lives through the violence. Marguerite, Eddie’s mother, is a caring and loving wife, who is always there for him no matter what the situation is (Kaminski and Albon, 80). She is in good relationships with the sons and other people in the community. Eddie’s brother Joe is an insecure guy, who is ashamed of himself. Eddie always saved him from trouble though he was the elder one, and instead of thanking him, he would not talk to Eddie for months out of shame. Ruby, who is Emile’s wife, operates the Ruby Pier. She teaches Eddie about forgiveness. She is an open and loving woman who believes that no one is born with anger and holding it is a poison in one’s life. Tala is a young girl saved by Eddie form a burning hurt.
The major theme in this book is that everyone’s lives are interconnected, and there are no random acts. Eddie learns from the blue man that lives intertwine in one way or another. For instance, if Eddie’s ball had not gone to the street, he would not have run after it, and the blue would not have come close to hitting him (Kaminski and Albon, 109). The other theme is that people sacrifice their lives to save others. During the war, Eddie had to sacrifice his life for the sake of the other soldiers. The captain also sacrificed his life by stepping out to check the land, but ended up being killed. All of them would have died if he had not sacrificed to go and check. The power of love is another theme that comes across the book. Eddie’s love for Marguerite kept him happy. When she died, Eddie felt extremely empty without her, but when they met in heaven, she explained that she still loves him even after death. This teaches that even though life ends, love endures forever.