Friday, April 12, 2013

Five People you meet in heaven, essay prompts and important passages (incomplete)

More important passages to come, my computer shut down in the middle of typing so I lost the file. Will be up tomarrow.

Important passages: 
Page 2, line 1
At the time of his death, 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. He wore rubber-soled shoes. He wore an old linen cap. His pale brown uniform suggested a workingman, and a workingman he was.
This passage is the first description we get of Eddie, and it is very important to the entire story as it not only explains his appearance, but the pain from arthritis and as we go one after his death he is less affected by these physical ailments till later on in his journey. It also introduces some of his past, war wounds, tattoos from the army. With just this paragraph we learn who Eddie is. A former soldier, an old man who’s age has long since caught up with him, and a working man.
Page 3, line 18
Children liked Eddie. Not teenagers. Teenagers gave him headaches. Over the years Eddie figured he’d seen every sort of do-nothing, snarl-at-you teenager there was. But children were different. Children looked at Eddie-who, with his protruding lower jaw, always seemed to be grinning, like a dolphin-they trusted him. They drew in like cold hands to a fire. They hugged his leg, they played with his keys. Eddie mostly grunted never saying much. He figured it was because he didn’t say much that they liked him.
This passage introduces an important fact for later on with the fifth person Eddie meets in his journey through heaven. Children trust him, he enjoys children, but not teenagers.
Page 4, line 8
A story went around about Eddie. When he was a boy, growing up by this very same pier, he got in an alley fight. Five kids from Pitkin Avenue had cornered his brother, Joe, and were about to give him a beating. Eddie was a block away, on a stoop, eating a sandwich. He heard his brother scream. He ran to the alley, grabbed a garbage can lid, and sent two boys to the hospital. After that, Joe didn’t talk to him for months. He was ashamed. Joe was the oldest, the first born, but it was Eddie who did the fighting.
This passage shows an important fact that would guide Eddie through his entire life and shape him into the man he was now. Eddie was a fighter, always had been always would be, facing the odds and coming out on top. However it also shows the first event that caused the eventual rift and consequent separation between he and his brother, who in their adult life had a less then loving relationship.
Page 8 line 12
As a soldier, he had engaged in combat numerous times. He’d been brave. Even won a medal. But toward the end of his service, he got into a fight with one of his own men. That’s how Eddie was wounded. No one knew what happened to the other guy. No one asked.
This passage further serves to continue the development of anxiety in the reader, we know by this point who Eddie is, what his life is like, and what it may have been like in the past, we know about certain events in his life but we don’t have details and tis passage gives insight into his old war wound, but is still vague enough to keep us reading to learn more.

Essay prompts
1973    Dickens’ Hard Times:  Explain how the author’s presentation of details is intended to shape the reader’s attitudes toward the place he describes — Coketown and the caves.  Give specific attention to the function of word choice, imagery, phrasing, and sentence structure.

This prompt matches ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ written by Mitch Albom well. Albom also uses very precise wording when describing the different ‘heaven’s’ that Eddie visits throughout his journey, his wording often matches or reflects the lesson that Eddie must learn in that portion of ‘heaven’ to move on  and accept his life and himself. Often Albom gets very detailed, especially while describing how Eddie crawls through the trenches of war when he meets his old Army Sargent, showing not just the struggle in life, but also the struggle of accepting that all was not as it seemed in life.
1972      In retrospect the reader often discovers that the first chapter of a novel
or the opening scene of a drama introduces some of the major themes of the
work. Write an essay about the opening scene of a drama or the first
chapter of a novel in which you explain how it functions in this way.  In
your essay do not merely summarize the plot of the work you are
In Albom’s the novel every major theme and lesson that Eddie learns is revisited, clarified and restated in different context to show his state of ‘enlightenment’ as he finally comes to accept not just his actions in life, but the actions of others in his life as well as the significance in the role he played in life, not as a soldier, husband, son, maintenance worker, but simply as ‘Eddie’.  Also the first chapter alludes to his life as well as every lesson he must learn on his journey through Heaven.
1986 Some works of literature use the element of time in a distinct way. The
chronological sequence of events may be altered, or time may be suspended or
accelerated. Choose a novel, an epic, or a play of recognized literary merit
and show how the author s manipulation of time contributes to the effectiveness
of the work as a whole. Do not merely summarize the plot.
In Mitch Albom’s novel time is of varying speed and relevance, the first chapter of the book it on a timer, ticking away and constantly reinfoming the reader of how much time Eddie has left to live, building suspense in the reader, making us almost impatient. However after he dies he is told that ‘You may have died a moment ago or 300 years ago, here time has no form or meaning’ so we quickly change from a definite time of how long he has to live to the indefinite eternity he may spend learning his lessons through heaven, however he has all this time because he needs to learn to accept himself and his life, so no timer is put on his journey.

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