The Alchemist' Reaction Essay

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The title of the book is, The Alchemist and it is a novel type of book. It is a fiction and it was published in the year 1992. This novel, The Alchemist was written by Paulo Coelho. “Paulo grew up with his family in the town, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His dad is an engineer and wanted Paulo to follow his footprints as well. Paulo kept on to his dream of being a writer, despite his father’s wishes. After telling his father that he wanted to be a writer, he was in an intellectual institution for three years. He is also part of the Catholic church and he seemed to have an interest in pilgrim routes”(Bowdon,2011).

The Alchemist is about a young boy named Santiago, also known as the Shepherd, following his dream as it is described in this novel. He lived with his family in Andalucia. “He studied theology, Latin, and Spanish”(Coelho,1992:16). His family wanted him to be a priest. But Santiago always wanted to travel to explore new things. He seemed to be attentive to travel. The journey all started with a sudden dream. He dreamed of a small child who took both his hands and transported him from the fields of Andalucia to a place where he had been told that there was treasure in the Pyramids of Egypt. He had the same dream twice. After dreaming the same thing for the second time, he told himself that this has to mean something. After all this, the shepherd created himself a mission to find the treasure that is situated in the Pyramids of Egypt. A quote in the first chapter that can relate to the actions of Santiago is: “To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation”(Coelho,1992:50).

I feel that I am like a shepherd. In this stage of my life, I also have n mission to reach my destination of getting my degree and to give myself a better life. My mission started when I was still a young boy by the age of 11. The reason why can i relate to Santiago is because I experienced the same thing with my family which Santiago experienced with his family. That is probably the most important factor that gives me the courage to reach my destination.

Along his way, he went to an old woman (a gypsy) who could interpret dreams. After getting advice from the old woman, he went on with his journey and came along with this old man (the king of Salem). Both the old woman and the old man convinced him to follow his dream. For them to give the shepherd advice, he had to give them something in return. Everywhere through the central character's trip (in Andalucia and Tarifa) he came upon several obstacles and exciting times as well. Santiago states: “The more he got to the realization of his dreams, the more difficult things became”(Coelho,1992:206). This tells me that no matter what you do there will always be a barrier that will try to prevent you from moving forward in life.

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This whole book might reflect on his own life. As I quoted earlier his father wanted him to follow his footprint but he insisted on doing that. He followed his dream no matter what. The way Paulo Coelho used the language was quite understandable. The use of quotes that Coelho used in this book is much deeper than just a quote. The quotes are used in the right place to make his opinion or statement more efficacious. Coelho writes more motivational kind of stories. His stories do not serve just for motivational purposes but for so much more. One can use that motivation to make a change in his or her life. This particular factor is one of a lot of factors that make him one of the best writers.

The words that were used by Paulo were difficult, I had to research that specific word to make the word more clear for me to understand. The statements that Coelho made were hard to understand. I had to read it over and over to make sure that I understood what he was trying to say. Although it was challenging, I found his work fascinating.

In my opinion, I will advise youngers who still trying to find their destination in life to read this book because this story is based on a boy who is committed to reaching his destination. According to Jay Evans, the book is a must-read for any individual who is currently trying to figure out what they want to do in their life(Evans,2017). Although he came upon several obstacles, although he was near the point of giving it all up, he kept on moving forward. This is also a good book for those who need motivation. By all means, it will able to provide you with motivation for love, your dreams, and yourself as a person. The Alchemist can change your life.


    1. Bowdon, Tom Butler.2011.Book review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho[Online].Available:[2011 ,March 08]
    2. Evans, Jay.2017.Book Review on Will Smith's Favorite Book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho[Online].Available:[2017, August 2013]
    3. Coelho, P.1992. The Alchemist. A.R. Clarke(tr.).
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