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Essay on The Alchemist: Critical Analysis

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This story is based on a young sheepherder named Santiago, who feels very restless having a recurring dream. He has a dream every time he sleeps under a sycamore tree that grows in the ruins of a church. During the dream, a child tells him to look for a treasure at the foot of the Egyptian pyramids, feeling confused with the dream, he decided to find out its meaning and goes to a gypsy. She told him that dreams are the language of the world and that if in his dream a child showed it to him, it is because he really exists and he had to go to the pyramids of Egypt, because in that place he finds a treasure that will make him millionaire but he had to promise that he would give a tenth if he could find the treasure. Santiago was disappointed because the gypsy only told him what he already knew and even had to give him the tenth if he found it, a part of him wants to risk going to look for it and the other part wants to continue his simple life as a sheepherder.

When he left, he decided to sit and wait for the sun to be a little lower, while he waited, he started reading a book and suddenly an old man appeared who seemed to be a mysterious king in Taifa. Santiago tells him about his dream and the old man convinces him that he has managed to discover his Personal Legend. The old king tells Santiago that following his Personal Legend until he can reach it is the only true obligation of a person in life. The old man was the King of Salem and he tells Santiago to give him a tenth of his flock so he can tell him in what direction he has to go in order to find him. The next day Santiago appears in the square with a tenth of his flock, then the king looked close to his chest, when doing this, rays of light are reflected and Santiago can see that it was gold, Santiago believed in everything said the king because to have so much gold he must have been a very important person, the king gave him two stones, one black and one white, they were called Urim and Thummim. In the end, the king only told him that when you want to do something, the universe conspires so you can do it, and this is a phrase that Santiago would remember in his long journey, he told him that the place where the treasure was found was in Africa.

Santiago listens to his heart and decides to do the dangerous treasure hunt. He sells his flock of sheep and goes to Africa. After the long journey, he arrived at a port and near it was a town called Tangier, full of bandits and criminals.

While walking through the streets of this town in search of help to get to his destination, he met another man about his own age, and he told him to help him to reach his destination but they had to go buy several things before get there, so he entrusted the money he had received for his sheep because he had warned him about the danger and while Santiago was deconcentrated he ran through the streets and when Santiago saw around him, he saw the man was not there and that he had stolen his money and He had to spend the night in the street since he didn’t have money to pay a hotel or something to sleep on. The next day the young man woke up and was attended by a street vendor who offered him food and a job cleaning glasses.

After spending almost a year working for the merchant, Santiago had already collected enough money to return to Spain and buy his flock again, but before leaving the owner thanks him for all this time of good work and tells him that his dream always it had been to go to the mecca since all of his religion had to visit the mecca at least once in his life but he feared that if he traveled there it would be pointless to continue living, but Santiago remembered his personal legend and he realized that he had to follow his path in order to fulfill it, then the owner was told that if that was his personal legend he had to fulfill it. After the gratitude and the last goodbye he went to fulfill his personal legend.

Santiago had enough money to buy a camel and go into the dangerous desert, on the way he found the store in which his money received by the sheep had been stolen and he wanted to go in to see if he could find the man but he could not find it. another young man who was also heading to the desert, approached him and asked him where he would have to go to find transportation for his trip, at which point an old man approached him and told them that a caravan would soon leave for the desert, and Without thinking they went out with the old cameleer to take that caravan. At dawn they left with a group of people to the desert, on the way Santiago was distracted by seeing the desert so silent and the other young man who was called English was distracted by reading some books that he had taken.

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After several days they finally arrived at an oasis, this oasis was full of palm trees and hundreds of wells, where they were attended by some inhabitants and they were housed in tents. The goal of English was to find an alchemist, and Santiago helped him find it, in the search Santiago fell madly in love with an inhabitant of this oasis, his name was Fatima, he asked about the alchemist and she told him that they stayed very away from the others, then they should be on the outskirts of the oasis, while they went towards the search of the alchemist, Santiago stayed thinking about Fatima and came to think that this should be his treasure.

Every day Santiago and Fatima were at the well to talk about their lives and in one of those conversations I told her about the treasure and her personal legend, she upon hearing it said that if that was her personal legend she had to complete it, but He insisted that his love for her was better than the treasure, she tried to explain that the women of this oasis always wait for their husbands since they go into the desert and do not know if they will return or not, then they They are used to their men not arriving.

The way around the oasis thinking about what Fatima said, but it was already night and he had to get to his tent, but he could see that hawks were flying through the desert and he thought it was a sign that the war that was happening in those moments would reach the oasis. It was where the generals of that oasis and told them about the hawks and the war then they explained that they were forbidden to come here, since in this oasis the use of weapons was forbidden but nevertheless they took precautions and told him that for every man dead would give him a quantity of gold and that if these weapons were not used with them they would be used against him.

Santiago was worried because if what he had predicted did not happen they would kill him, but on the way he met a knight, his horse neighed and he had a hawk on his shoulder, who told him that because he had revealed the hawks and he I answered that he had thought it was a sign, then the gentleman revealed that he was an alchemist and told him that if he survived tomorrow, he would go to where he lived and point out where he was. Santiago woke up worried that if there would be no war there, his legend would end there, but a few hours passed and the armed guards saw an army that entered the oasis and immediately killed them, the young man was forgiven and was rewarded with a great amount of gold coins. He remembered what the alchemist had told him and it was where he was, when the alchemist arrived he answered him and told him that he would be his guide to achieve his personal legend, he accepted and went to say goodbye to Fatima and she understood what was happening and told her that she would be waiting for his return, without further ado he left with the alchemist to finish his personal legend.

They arrived at a camp where they were received, there they asked the alchemist what he had there and he answered that it was the Elixir of the long life and the Philosopher’s Stone, the guards laughed at him and let them pass, the alchemist spoke to him a little about what alchemy was and Santiago asked him if he would teach him to turn lead into gold, and he answered no, because this would help him get only his personal legend, but they were captured by bandits and taken to the enemy camps and thought to execute them but the alchemist offered them all the money that Santiago got with the reward of the oasis generals, they accepted and the alchemist told them to give him three days so that he could become wind and they would liberate them, otherwise they would be executed. After three days Santiago was able to overcome his challenge of becoming wind and the bandit chiefs decided to release them, later they would meet a monastery there the alchemist borrowed the kitchen to perform an experiment and the monk accepted, there the alchemist took out the Elixir of the long life and the Philosopher’s Stone, he mixed them and turned the knob into gold, then broke it into four pieces and gave one to the monk, another Santiago, and one for him, the rest was given to the monk in case Santiago I will need urgently.

The alchemist before saying goodbye to Santiago told him a well-known story and then let him continue on his way, Santiago went on his way and could find the pyramids, Santiago wept with happiness and began to dig to find the tear drop that he shed. several refugees from the war and stole the piece of gold that the alchemist had given him and forced him to continue digging to see if he found more gold, but everything was in vain, at the end Santiago told them about the treasure and his personal legend and one of them told him that he had also had a dream similar to that, he dreamed that he had to go to Spain to dig in a tower to find his treasure and he said that he was not stupid enough to believe in that, so he they left and Santiago saw the pyramids with great happiness, he had already found his treasure.

Shortly after what happened in the pyramids, Santiago claimed the monk his piece of gold to be able to return to Spain, there he realized that the alchemist knew everything that was going to happen and he smiled saying: old sorcerer, you knew everything from a principle and you did not tell me anything. When he arrived in Spain he no longer brought with him his flock but a shovel to dig, there he touched thoroughly and unearthed a trunk full of gold and forgotten treasures, he lay down on the grass and felt in the desert wind, but in this he felt the war, on the contrary he felt a pleasant silence and felt that the air gave him a big kiss and said: I’m going Fatima.

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Essay on The Alchemist: Critical Analysis. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 27, 2023, from
“Essay on The Alchemist: Critical Analysis.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022,
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