The Alchemist Reflection Essay

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“I was taught to strive not because there were any guarantees of success, but because the act of striving is itself the only way to keep faith with life.” This is a quote said by Madeline Albright, an American politician and diplomat. What Madeleine Albright means is that when you strive, you are not only have a chance of success, but you are giving faith and other good qualities to your surroundings. This is a lesson that Santiago learns throughout his whole journey. In the novel, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, Santiago learns, “When we strive to become better, everything around us becomes better, too.” First, Santiago arrives at a crystal shop and works there to earn back money he had lost. Next, while Santiago is walking, he a has a vision of a terrible war. Finally, Santiago strives to turn himself into the wind.

First, when Santiago first arrives at the crystal shop, he spends one year working hard to earn back his lost money. For instance, as Santiago is finishing his first year at the shop, the crystal merchant gives his thanks to Santiago: “‘ I am proud of you’ he said. ‘You brought me a new feeling to my crystal shop’” (63). As Santiago continuously works for one year, he is able to earn back his lost money as well as improve the merchant’s shop, providing easier living for the merchant and the customers. Santiago provides the merchant with an on-going line of customers and a great profit. To add on, the customers are able to feel the luxuries that are bought with the crystal glasses. But, most importantly, Santiago is able to learn some very important life lessons that help him throughout the rest of his journey. Ultimately, as Santiago strives to earn back his stolen money, he is not only improving his life, but he is a also improving the lives of the merchant and customers.

Nest, while Santiago is taking a stroll, he sees two hawks violently flashing at each other, giving him a vivid vision of a gruesome war at the oasis. For example, as Santiago shares his vision with the chieftains, they decide to give Santiago a chance: “Tomorrow, we are going to break the agreement that says no one at the oasis can carry arms. Throughout the entire day we will be on the lookout for our enemies” (111).

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