The Alchemist' Personal Legend Essay

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Coelho’s most famous novel, The Alchemist, was published in 1988. It was his third book, following an unsuccessful first book Hell Archives (1982), and a non-fiction account of his spiritual awakening on the Camino de Santiago, The Pilgrimage (1986).

In Al-Chemist, Santiago, the novel’s central character, is introduced as a shepherd and the writer quickly connects him with multiple dimensions. Santiago’s observation of sheep and realization about the adoption of their schedule is important, as the novel underscores awareness of the natural entities.

Santiago lives a simple life and has simple desires; loves his sheep, and also likes a young woman. Later on, he will abandon his sheep and that girl too to pursue his legend. Santiago was attracted by the merchant’s daughter because she was impressed by his reading skills and storytelling ability.

Santiago used to travel constantly as his profession demands travelling with sheep, Santiago relishes his freedom, but sometimes, he also wants to settle down. Santiago identifies a universal nature in his lifestyle that every wanderer wishes to settle down with other persons.

Santiago’s thoughts about his responsibility for the sheep, the simple creature while Santiago will leave them because of his complex time. Santiago sought fulfillment through traveling. Coelho seems to prefer this sort of spiritual journey over simply following an identified path.

Santiago’s discussion with his father is Coelho’s presentation of the two arguments for traveling versus finding a home and staying there. he will conclude that his village is truly where he belongs and also the most attractive place. His father supports his idea of traveling and asks him to become a shepherd. Santiago feels that it was also his father’s dream as he wished him to travel vicariously. Santiago’s traveling experience gave him spiritual guidance. He feels like he wouldn’t have been discovered God if he hadn’t pursued his dream.

Santiago learns meaningful lessons by observing his sheep and comparing them with humans who follow the monotony of life but don’t think about the wider picture.

Santiago seeks out the fortune-teller to get to know the meaning of the recurring dream he had. He feels nervous around the fortune teller but gets easy by evidence of her Christianity. Santiago’s faith is doubtful but he believes in God and the omens God gives him throughout the novel. Santiago is a spiritual individual pursuing Christianity.

The fortune-teller distinguishes between dreams that God shares in “our language and the “language of the soul”. The idea of the Soul of the World is a connection between all people and things that everybody can understand. The fortune-teller’s interpretation of the dream provides no new insight into the quest. In the context of this novel, dreams often reveal important information about life. Santiago becomes irritated that the consultation with a profession added nothing new to his information. There he identifies the factor of simplicity which will be later related to the alchemist.

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The old man, king of Salem, met him anonymously interpreted his dream, and led him towards the importance of personal legend. When that old man says to him that he has much more potential than being a shepherd, Santiago compares the fortune teller and this old man to having spiritual tendencies. Here, Santiago gets confused about whether he should stay with the sheep or pursue his dream; a risk that everyone faces when taking a decision.

The old man gives strong evidence of his mysterious existence when his breastplate goes unrevealed. He gives two stones Urim and Thummim as an aid to help him in taking better decisions.

He took them and went to Morocco to pave his way to the pyramids. Here, he meets an Englishman and trusts him as a friend, He hands over all his wealth to him and he appears to be a thief who robbed him in just seconds. At that moment, he caught the attention of stones and became comfortable but when those stones dropped down from the hole of the bag, he started thinking that he shouldn’t rely on things, he should make his decisions himself. The next morning, when he wakes up, the candy seller gives him a candy ignoring the language barrier. He identifies all language that doesn’t require words.

On his way to Egypt, he passes by a crystal merchant who gives him a job and it’s time when he again decides to give up his dream and he should go home. But then he decided to join a caravan leading Egypt.

When they finally arrive at the Al-Fayoum oasis-the home of the titular Alchemist; -Santiago meets a beautiful girl named Fatima with whom he immediately falls in love. He soon discovers that love, like the Personal Legend, comes directly from the Soul of the World. White walking in the desert, Santiago has a vision of an upcoming battle. He rushes back to warn the elders at the oasis. The next day, 500 armed tribesmen enter the oasis as Santiago had predicted. The men, duly warned, kill all of the intruders. The chieftain of the oasis awards Santiago 50 pieces of gold and offers him a position as a counselor.

Santiago considers staying at the oasis with his newfound love Fatima, instead of seeking the Pyramids. Fatima, however, tells Santiago that she understands his need to realize his goal. The women of the desert, she explains, are proud of their men's freedom. This confuses Santiago, who is unable to separate love and possession. The Alchemist finds Santiago and tells him that he will lead him to his treasure.

While on the move, the Alchemist teaches Santiago that hearts can be treacherous, but the best way to keep them from fooling you is to listen to them intently, one must listen to the Soul of the world to find one's treasure. Everything on earth, even minerals, has a Personal Legend. This is why alchemists can change any metal into gold: they are simply helping the metal achieve its Legend.

When the two travelers are taken prisoner by a warring tribe, the Alchemist an effort to save their lives--claims that Santiago is a magician who can turn himself into wind. Santiago has no idea what he is doing but eventually starts to pray with the acknowledgement that his heart and the Soul of the World are one. Immediately, the wind whips up, and Santiago disappears and reappears on the other side of the camp. The tribal chiefs are so impressed that they let the travelers go. The next day, the men arrive at a monastery. The Alchemist uses his piece of the Philosopher's Stone to turn lead into a quantity of gold some to Santiago and some to a monk. Santiago continues to the Pyramids alone.

There he is overwhelmed with joy realizing he can turn back now that the real treasure is not gold or jewels, but the wisdom he has gained from his journey and his love for Fatima. His heart tells him to dig in a spot where he sees a scarab beetle.

It’s the time when Santiago has learned lessons in a defined order; an omen which he had seen. End suggests that Santiago will come to Fatima and Fatima also had waited long for him because their love is true. Santiago has learned many lessons and also has got the treasure. He can live happily forever.

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