While this quote may read as a positive affirmation, there is more beneath the surface.
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Eddie might think he is alone, but he is not, whether he likes it or not. Yes, he was indirectly responsible for the Blue Man's death; he killed his Filipino captors; his Captain died trying to evacuate him.
However, he also saved the surviving members of his platoon, he died trying to save a young girl at Ruby Pier, and he brought joy to many children, among other things. Not the end of everything. We think it is. But what happens on Earth is only the beginning. At this point, Eddie still sees death as a tragedy, a reason for condolences and apology.
In Heaven, where there is no timeline, no ticking clock, and no weakening bones, the Captain does not feel sorrowful about his death. Instead, he says, he "got to keep [his] promise.
River of Heaven : A Novel by Lee Martin -
I made one. We all make them.
But you are angry over yours. Sacrifice is a part of life. Each of Eddie's five encounters follows the same pattern.
The individual that Eddie is slated to meet reveals him or herself to him, explains why they are connected, and then allows Eddie to see a tragedy in his life in a new, positive way. The Captain is only the second person Eddie meets in Heaven, but he addresses one of the darkest and most painful periods in Eddie's life: the war.
Eddie is angry at the Captain when he learns that the Captain shot him to keep him from going into a burning tent. However, as the Captain explains in the above quote, Eddie is still holding on to his opinion that his own life was meaningless.
- Theoretical Perspectives on Autobiographical Memory (Nato Science Series D:).
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Sacrifice is one of the most essential themes in the book, and one that Albom ascribes closely to the inherent importance of one's life. Eddie forgives his father once he learns that the old man sacrificed his life to save an old friend.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven Quotes and Analysis
When Ruby says this to Eddie, he refuses to believe her. Instead, he thinks about all of the inner turmoil and agitation that haunted him throughout his life.
This is Eddie's Heaven. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves. Eddie learns from Ruby that his internal frustration and anger made him unhappy on earth - more than his father ever could. While it may sound like a criticism at first, this statement also serves to humanize parents specifically, Eddie's father.
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