Discussion questions

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The more SPECIFIC you are in fewer words, the better your grade will be.
BOOK: The Five People You Meet in Heaven

AUTHOR: Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie


  1. Why does Eddie work at an amusement park? Is that all he can do? Is he uneducated?

  2. How important is the way Eddie dies in the end?

  3. Does Eddie know or sense that he is about to die?

  4. Why does the author start the book at the end of the story?

  5. Does Eddie save the little girl in the end or does she die?


  1. The boardwalk on the beach in the book is like the one I used to see at Ocean City, Md., in the summer because they both have beaches, boardwalks and babes.

  2. The Tilt-a-Whirl at Dorney Park used to be my favorite ride, and it’s in the book on the boardwalk near the beach.

  3. The kind, quiet grunting working man description of Eddie is like my step-dad, a quiet, hard-working foreman for PP&L.

  4. Eddie saving that little girl at the last moment is like Michael Jordan making a game-winning shot at the buzzer to fend off defeat, only Eddie’s save is much bigger because he saves a life, I think.

  5. The man with the keys on his belt is like a janitor with so many keys to open so many doors. Both usually have a huge ring with 20 or more keys to open every door.



  1. craggy/2 Rough and steep; irregular

  2. thrumming/2 To play or pluck a stringed instrument idly; to recite monotonously.

  3. shingles/3 Inflammation of the spinal and cranial nerves; painful reaction to chicken pox

  4. solvent/5 Something that provides a solution; a liquid substance capable of dissolving.

  5. cacophony/11 Harshness in the sounds of words and phrases.



1. Freddy’s Free Fall (1) alliteration

2. “this is where Eddie would be killed” (1). Foreshadowing

3. “in the spits and sputters and thrumming of the equipment” (2). Allit./Onomatop.

4. “But scenery without solace is meaningless” (35). Rhythmic/Poetic

5. “The only time we waste is the time we spend

thinking we are alone” (50). Deep/Reflective


  1. Eddie will meet his parents in Heaven because everyone wants to see their relatives and loved ones in Heaven.

  2. Eddie’s version of Heaven will be on the amusement park or boardwalk because that’s where his fondest memories are from during his lifetime.

  3. Mitch Albom will write more about Eddie’s family in later chapters because he hasn’t mentioned them yet and they are usually important.

  4. Small events in Eddie’s life will continue to be major in the lives of other people because we can’t truly know how we affect others in every way.

  5. The world balances out. Eddie’s actions cost one person her life, and his actions at the end will also save a girl’s life because the world is in balance and harmony.


  1. The story begins with Eddie’s background being told through intermittent descriptions of him during his final day at Ruby Pier as the maintenance man. Albom portrays Eddie as a likeable, harmless man of 83 who will celebrate his birthday and face his death simultaneously.

Setting #1: Ruby Pier Page # 2

Description: “Every afternoon, he walked the park, checking on each attraction, from the Tilt-a-Whirl to the Pipeline Plunge. He looked for broken boards, loose bolts, worn-out steel” (2).

Setting #2: Ruby Pier Pages #6-7

Description: “A small ‘fishing hole’ had been cut into the boardwalk planks years ago, and Eddie lifted the plastic cap. He tugged on a nylon line that dropped 80 feet to the sea. A piece of bologna was still attached” (6-7).


+ +

Ferris Wheel and roller coaster at Ruby Pier in beginning Musicians at boardwalk


  1. “Eddie was a squat, white-haired old man, with a short neck, a barrel chest, thick forearms, and a faded army tattoo on his right shoulder. His legs were thin and veined now, and his left knee, wounded in the war, was ruined by arthritis. He used a cane to get around. His face was broad and craggy from the sun, with salty whiskers and a lower jaw that protruded slightly, making him look prouder than he felt. He kept a cigarette behind his left ear and a ring of keys hooked to his belt.” (2)

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