Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom, begins on the birthday about a man named Eddie. Eddie works at an amusement park and has done so all his life. He is not much of a talker and keeps to himself. He does his job well and works alongside a younger man named Dominic. That day, Eddie sends Dominic up to the top of a ride to fix something. Dominic makes a mistake and the ride comes crashing down. A little girl is in the path of the falling cart and Eddie dies in his attempt to save her with “A stunning impact. A blinding flash of light. And then, nothing” (18).
Throughout the book are flashbacks of different birthdays Eddie had in his life. These allow the reader to really get to know Eddie and how he became who is was as a person.
The book continues with Eddie’s journey in heaven, meeting five people that greatly impacted his life, whether he knew they had or not. He finds out that even if he does not understand how, “the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect” (48). With each of the people Eddie meets, he learns a lesson. He comes to understand his impact on the world, even though during his life he thought of himself as unimportant.




Discussion Question:

Do you believe that seemingly unimportant people, even people you never personally met, can make a large impact on your life?

10 comments:

Megan L.11-12 said...

People you don't know make a huge impact on your life if you only let them. For instance, Thoreau, Whitman, Frost, and other important philosophic writers write life altering essays, poems, etc. These works can change your whole perspective as long as you allow them to do so. Similarly, bringing the topic closer to home, the media coverage nowadays. I never knew any of these people who passed away, and yet, I feel as if my life has changed and I am now determined to stand up for people if I witness something and to give myself, my friends, my school a good reputation despite the bad coverage. It's all in context really, if you have an open mind, then anything can change your life.

KatherineS13-14 said...

All of the things you said make a lot of sense and i agree with all of it, but what about the people you do not even know about. For example, in the book, the first person Eddie meets in heaven is a blue man from a freak show he saw as a child. Eddie unknowingly changed the blue man's entire life with one small action. Do you think that a stranger you see once in passing could affect so much of your life or that other person's life?

Deanna K 5-6 said...

I don't completely agree with this statement. Seemingly unimportant people that you may not even know could, in a roundabout way, impact your life. I just don't think that it would be a large impact. The people who make large impacts on your life have to be people you know or people that you have actually met. Only in a few cases do I believe that people you have never met can largely impact your life. Therefore, I don't necessarily agree with Megan L, but I do agree with Katherine S. Eddie had greatly changed the Blue Man's life only because they had met atleast once sometime in both their lives.

David G. 13-14 said...

I totally agree that seemingly unimportant people can affect one's life but I don't believe that they can largely impact one's life very often. While in some cases I suppose that large impacts could be made, I can't agree that it would be a very common occurrence. If someone witnessed something of monumental importance, like saving a life for example, I'm sure that there would be a major impact on a spectator's life but aside from events of great magnitude, I can't see many large impacts being made on someone's life. I agree with Deanna that large impacts are usually made by people that you know, or at least have met before in your life, and that strangers rarely cause huge differences in one's life.

Rachael B MOds 5-6 said...

I do believe that people you have never met can have an extreme impact on your life. I never met my great grandfather, but I know that many of the talents that he had were passed on to me through a few generations. He was an extremely gifted man who could play eight instruments and had artistic talent like no other. I am proud to say that these are my two strengths in this world. Even though I never met him, my great grandfather taught many things to my Papa and my Papa taught my mom. Ironically, my mother is not artistically OR musically inclined. I, however, do not believe it was by accident that I discovered my great grandfathers paintings and sheet music hidden away in my grandparents atttic. His little side notes on the sheets of music and inspritational pictures on the back of his artwork allowed me to have a look into his mind. I never talked to the man. In fact, I've only ever seen two pictures of him in my entire life. My great grandpa, however, has been one of the two biggest influences in my life. Sometimes, all it takes is looking back at what someone left after they were gone to understand everything about them and let their soul melt into your heart.

Hannah L 13-14 said...

Yes, I believe that people that you have never met can make a huge impact on your life. Not necessarily if that's just someone you happen to pass by on the street, but there are people taht you haven't met that affect the lives of your friends and family which in turn affects you. Those people make them who they are and that person is the person who you have a relationship with and if you think about it, what if they hadn't ever been around that person? They would be a totally different person and you may not have the relationship that you have with them just because of that one person and the relationship between those people. You may not know them but they have affected your life because of how they shape the people around you. Now if we were talking about someone that I personally have never met that has nothing to do with someone in my life I can't really say that they would affect my life at all, but it's the people that you do know that really make you into the person that you are so I'm not really sure if I believe that a random stranger could truly affect my life in a major way.

KatherineS13-14 said...

Okay, so the general concensus seems to be that a complete stranger that you passed on the street can make a small impact, but not a huge impact on your life. However strangers that are connected to people that you are connected to can make a large impact. I'm not sure that I can agree with complete strangers not affecting your life. What about the stranger that helps you up after you fall or performs a random act of kindness towards you? I believe that these strangers could possibly make a large impact on your life without you knowing. If that person hadn't helped you up, someone might have stepped on your hand and broken it. That broken hand could have started a whole other chain of events that may change your whole life. Just something to think about. Anyone agree? Or disagree? Or have another thought about it?

LeahS11-12 said...

I personally think that everyone's lives are intersecting somehow. Even if you'd never met a person, they could have met/known someone that you DO know, and could have changed THAT person, and in turn changed you. I may have watched The Butterfly Effect one too many times, but I know my life would be different if I'd never met some of the people that I know now.

Joe K. 11-12 said...

I feel like people outside of your personal life have almost a greater impact because they are indifferent to prior experiences with you. They are able to judge simply on the situation at hand, and that can show you exactly how people perceive you. Furthermore, how those people interact with you and see you can truly give you a feel for what kind of person you are and how you may or may not have to adjust your actions.

James F (11-12) said...

Based on the actual story, i feel that the only way for a "random" person to have an impact on your life is that they cant be completely random. in the novel eddie is almost hit by the blue man and if i remember correctly this causes the bluemans death. even though eddie did not know this person thy interacted. because of this their lives were so called crossed. both eddie and the blue man impacted each other greatly because both were each others person to meet in heaven (or at least one of them). in real life, random people can be the people that are construction workers or factory workers. you may not know these people but you use the things that they have produced in order to live your life.