An essay on the "Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom.
Ruby Pier was more than just a place where Eddie grew up at. It was a place where he began his career as maintenance. It was the place where Eddie met his first love, Marguerite. It was where his father worked. Ultimately, it was his grave. Ruby Pier would represent Eddie’s life, conflict, and purpose.
Ruby Pier symbolizes Eddie’s life. Changes at Ruby Pier would correlate to changes in Eddie’s life. When Eddie meets the Blue Man, he sees Ruby Pier back when he was a child. Ruby Pier was primitive back then. Rides were simple. The colors were basic. Many of them did not involve any complications. All these features of the pier represent Eddie’s purity as a child. As a child, everything was new to him. Nothing mattered. He simply enjoyed and loved the things in life. As years went by, the rides began to change. New rides replaced the old ones. The old rides were simply worn out or outdated. Just like the rides at the Ruby Pier, Eddie’s purity did last forever. As Eddie started to experience with his life, things became more complicated. He faced the horrors of war. He became crippled for life. He continued the job he did not like. He lost Marguerite. Worst of all, he remained at Ruby Pier for the rest of his life. As the rides on the pier become more complex and modernized, Eddie became older and depressed.
Ruby Pier would also symbolize Eddie’s conflict. When Eddie meets his third person, Eddie learns more about the pier. He learns about the fire incident that occurred at Ruby Pier. The fire incident represents Eddie’s emotions and struggles. Like many people before him, Eddie had suffered from the existence of Ruby Pier. For Eddie, working at Ruby Pier meant becoming like his father. His father was the one person he hated the most. His father acted violently and abused him. He would come home drunk and beat him up. Eddie did want to become like this. Like the fire incident at the pier, Eddie’s conflicts were beyond his control. His struggles spread like fire. He was unable to handle it. He stored a lot of anger, hatred, and regrets about his life. By working at the pier, Eddie never became anything he wanted. He felt that his life had no purpose.
When Eddie meets the fifth person in heaven, he realized that his life at the pier had a purpose. His duty was to keep the children safe at the pier. Eddie had a thing for children. He enjoyed their innocence and happiness. Eddie was a guardian. He protected and guided the children. He rode with the them. He made sure all the rides were running well. He made sure the rides were safe for the children. Eddie did more than just protected the children from harm. He showed them the love of a parent. Eddie was like a father to the children at pier. He wanted the children to be happy. He wanted each child to obtain something that he missed out on when he was a child, a loving and caring father. In fact, Eddie himself had no guidance from his father.
His father had never showed any signs of encouragement, love, or approval. By being kind to the children, Eddie was being different from his father. Ruby Pier became more than what Eddie thought it would be. His five lessons in heaven enlighten him. In the end of the story, Eddie’s heaven became Ruby Pier.