The Alchemist is a journey of exploration and self-discovery as we follow the main character, Santiago, a young shepherd who lives in Spain, on a journey to fulfill his personal legend. The novel shows us wisdoms and gentle reminders of how to change our lives from what they may be today into the life we have always dreamed of.
14) Earlier in the story, the alchemist told Santiago "when you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed." At the end of the story, how does this simple lesson change Santiago’s life? How does it lead him back to the treasure he was looking for?
Throughout the book, Coelho addresses the attractive quality and the sense of security that wealth and acceptable social status bring. Nevertheless, he also illustrates that one must reject the lure of riches and reputation in order to attain one’s highest potential. At first, Santiago ignores his dream to travel to Egypt because of his strong desire to earn back the money that he has lost due to the robbery. As such, Santiago becomes employed at a crystal shop and works “incessantly, thinking only of putting aside enough money so that he could return to Spain with pride” (62). Instead of saving his money for a trip across the Sahara desert to pursue his dream, at this time, Santiago wishes to return to Spain to become a shepherd once again. Here, Santiago is tempted to permanently settle down and live among people. Furthermore, Santiago also encounters a group of tribesmen and becomes a prisoner along with the alchemist. When the alchemist gives up all of Santiago’s gold, Santiago gets upset and says “You gave them everything I had! Everything I’ve saved in my entire life!” (141). Santiago is frustrated because he has saved up enough to live a life luxurious back home. Although Santiago’s sacrifice of wealth is unwillingly done by another individual, it allows him to continue his path of becoming his Personal Legend as it spares his life. By sacrificing his earthly desire and obsession with fortune, Santiago’s
When Santiago arrives in Tangier he is robbed by a thief and is forced to find work from the locals. He meets a crystal merchant and gets hired to work for him. Santiago convinces the merchant to take some risks in his business. This advice pays off and Santiago becomes a rich man in just a year. Santiago stars to gain confidence in his decisions and decides to use his earning to pursue his personal legend. Santiago soon joins a caravan crossing the Sahara desert and meets an Englishman who is studying to become an Alchemist. On the trip Santiago and the Englishman don’t converse much but Santiago still ends up learning a lot
Santiago needed money and food, so he asked a man who owned a crystal shop, if he could clean all his crystal pieces for some food and money. The man liked the Santiago’s work, so gave him some food, and told him he could work for him if he wanted to. Santiago took the job, and ended up working
“I want to stay at the oasis,” the boy answered. “I’ve found Fatima and as far as I am concerned, she’s worth more than treasure.” Everyone knows what they want to do, but they are afraid of hurting those around them by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream. Some do not realize that love is something to impel us, not something that will prevent us to go further. Those that genuinely wish us well want us to be happy and are prepared to accompany us on that journey. After hearing the Alchemist’s predictions and Fatima saying that he should go, Santiago decided to accompany the Alchemist and pursue his personal legend. Santiago overcame his problem when his father told him he can not travel, and he also perused his personal legend and did not hurt Fatima.
The Crystal Merchant plays a very important role in Santiago’s journey and also the time spent in Tangier. The Crystal Merchant owns a shop and he doesn’t really believe in “Personal Legends” because he believes after he achieves his dream that he will have nothing else to live for. The Crystal Merchant opens Santiago’s eyes into seeing the result of not fulfilling your dreams.
He brings Santiago to buy a camel but manages to escape from the congested market with all of Santiago’s money. After Santiago is robbed, he feels hopeless and is ready to surrender his quest. He is forced to work for a crystal merchant and must learn patience. He is able to adapt to his job, and serves as a great assistant. Throughout his time with the merchant, he learns valuable lessons and many which convince him to continue his quest. The man is old and grouchy, but he is fair to Santiago. For example, Santiago would receive a percentage of each item sold. After a few months, Santiago suggests to the merchant that they build a crystal display to attract people who pass by. The merchant is unsure about change and is hesitant. Santiago learns that change is necessary for success and if one never changes, one never moves
Soon after, Santiago is forced to work for a crystal merchant in the hopes of replacing his lost money and continuing on his quest. He works for the merchant for eleven months and during this time, continues to think less and less of his Personal Legend. He becomes skilled in this practice and begins to work towards instead, replacing his flock of sheep and returning to his past lifestyle. During this time, Santiago perceived reaching the pyramids as an impossible feat claiming “Egypt was now just a distant dream for him” and that, like a mirage, it would always be just out of his reach (56). In this way, Coelho shows that Santiago’s morale is lessening. The more that he stays at the crystal shop, the more he sees his treasure as a mirage instead of a physical object.
Don't get us wrong: the crystal merchant is a good guy. He gives Santiago a job when he's down and out, keeps him fed, and pays him well. Plus, his own inactivity and fear of change gives Santiago an example of what not to do. It's like an after-school special about not letting your infant brother drive the riding lawnmower. Better to learn from example than
Crystal merchant: Owns a crystal shop in the city of Tangier. He has lived there thirty good years in selling and buying crystal pieces. It is this shop, where Santiago works before continuing his journey.
The Alchemist, a novel written by Paulo Coelho teaches us about the importance of self-discovery and exploration by taking us through the journey of a young Andalusian shepherd, Santiago. Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 24th 1947, to Pedro Quiema Coelho de Souza, an engineer, and his wife, Lygia, a homemaker. Paulo early on had dreamed of an artistic career and then after his surroundings in Jesuit school, he discovered his true vocation was to be a writer (Coelho 195). Upon telling his mom, she told him that his father was an engineer, a reasonable and logical man and had a clear view of the world. At the age of 16, Paulo’s opposition against following a traditional path led to his parents committing him into a mental institution (Paulo Coelho). To satisfy his parents, he enrolled in law school. However, it led him to mental illness and failing his career. After many years, he gave a shot at his dream profession and started to write. Paulo wrote The Pilgrimage: Diary of Magus which described his experiences and his discovery that the extraordinary occurs in the lives of ordinary people. He was the recipient of numerous international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum. The Pilgrimage was published in 1987 and The Alchemist was published in 1988, a year after. Both novels appeared on the best sellers list but The Alchemist continued to sell more copies than any other book in Brazilian literary history. The Alchemist,
The reason Santiago moving from Spain to North Africa and changing the landscape fit with the story’s running theme of change and transformation is because of how he had to adapt. In Part II of The Alchemist, the change of setting reflected change and transformation because of how the crystal shop merchant headed the words of the boy and changed the setting of his crystal shop to attract more customers. This is similar to how Santiago was pushed by his recurring dream to leave his normal environment in search of treasure in a strange and new one.