The Alchemist

7 July 2016

1. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, has a very good plot. Paulo Coelho is telling the readers that they can either discover their personal dreams or ruin it. The people that want to conquer their legend will always have many challenges to face, but that shouldn’t stop them from trying and finding ways to complete the challenge. The people that give up on their obstacle and chooses to quit striving for their legend will not have a second chance.

2. Santiago, the main character in the book, and is characterized as an out going Shepard in a city near an ancient castle in Andalusia.Santiago, a boy, is unshakeable, creative, and has no interest in money or wealth, but wants to succeed in the dreams he most cares about. He is also a character that learns fast and no matter the challenges he faces he never gives up. For example, the owner of the store that Santiago worked in even said, “The boy’s very presence in the shop was an omen, and, as time passed and money was pouring into the cash drawer, he had no regrets about having hired the boy.

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” (79). Through Santiago’s mentally quick and motivational ways, he can achieve any challenge given to him.

3. A minor character in The Alchemist, Melchizedek, plays a huge role in Santiago’s journey. Melchizedek, a King from Salem, inspires Santiago to pursue in his legend and to not quit. He is a smart and wise King who made Santiago realize that he should never forget the small things in life. “Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you,’ said the wisest of wise men. ‘The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon. ‘” (55).

Melchizedek wants to teach Santiago to always focus on the smaller things in life because they are just as important than the bigger things in life. The Englishman, a man from Europe, came to Egypt to locate an alchemist who knows the “Universal language. ” He loves to read, and is very smart. Santiago meets the Englishman as they both headed to a place in Egypt, Al-Foyum. The Shopkeeper is a very generous Muslim merchant who owns a small crystal shop up the hill from a small market. The shopkeeper, a hardworking man, does not like change and has dreams but does not pursue in them. He uses the dreams to keep him motivated and live strong.

4. The glass shop in Africa is a major setting in this novel because it helps Santiago get back on his feet and realize that he is going to find his personal legend. The point of this setting is to do explore something new in life and that the old adventures will always be there to fall back on if he ever failed. The desert plays a huge role in the setting of this book because it reveals the difficulty of conquering your personal legend. The desert is an endless area that is everlasting. The desert is also a place where a lot of journeys begin and end.

For example, Santiago traveled through the desert to get to the pyramids where as the Englishman stopped his journey to stay in the desert to learn the ways of Alchemy. The oasis, or “safe place” is where Santiago meets the Alchemist and Fatima, the woman he wants to spend his eternal life with. The oasis is considered neutral territory because many women and children live there. This is where Santiago learns the “language of the world. “

5. First, one important symbol is alchemy. Alchemy is relevant to Santiago because it is the idea of a base metal finding its personal legend and to convert itself into gold. Santiago goes through the same process of the Alchemy. Santiago is the base metal finding its personal legend and after he finds it he will become a very rich man just like the metal became rich gold. In addition, another key symbol is Santiago’s sheep. The sheep symbolizes the idea of the story and how some people do not find their personal legend. The sheep only cares about eating and drinking and their approval in the world, they do not care about exploring the world or pursuing into new things.

6. The dominant theme in The Alchemist is the center of all personal legends. In the book, The Alchemist, personal legend is the way of living a prosperous life and that you can be successful if you put your mind, body, and heart into it. The idea that Paulo Coelho wants the readers to learn from his book is to follow your heart, wherever it may take you, and conquer all your dreams even if you come across a challenging obstacle in life you should never quit on what you want to accomplish. For example, Santiago’s parents wanted him to be a priest but he didn’t want to, instead he became a Shepard so he could travel the world and experience new things in life.

Though Santiago faced many obstacles along the way, he was still very humble and never gave up his hope. This applies in today’s life because there are billions and billions in the world today who have bright dreams, but can’t pursue them because of illness, low income, they are afraid that they will fail or their physical disabilities may effect them. If people would just be confident and relentless enough then they would be able to find their personal legend.

7. First, “I understand sheep; they are no longer a problem, and they can be good friends. On the other hand, I don’t know if the desert can be a good friend, and its in the desert that I have to search for my treasure. If I don’t find it, I can always go home. I finally have enough money, and all the time I need why not? ” (95). This quote is said by Santiago. This quote built the novel of the whole story because this quote its what gave Santiago the motivation to keep finding his legend. “Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time. ” (209).

This quote is important to the scene because the Alchemist knew Santiago would be robbed. So he gave him extra helping of gold. “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. ” (42). King Melchizedek said this quote. It’s important to this novel as a whole because many people guided Santiago on his journey: The crystal merchant, The Alchemist, and Fatima. 8. I strongly believe Santiago’s most difficult obstacle on his journey to achieving his personal legend is when he was robbed in Tangier by a man that agreed to assist him to Egypt.

Santiago went from being a wealthy man after selling his flock, to a very poor man in a heartbeat. The reader knows this happens when the narrator explains, “He was no longer a Shepard, and he had nothing, not even the money to return and start everything over. ” (63). Santiago, however, was able to conquer this challenge when he took Urim and Thummim, the two rocks that King Melchizedek took out of his golden breast plates. “They’re called Urim and Thummim, and they can help you to read the omens. ” (65). These rocks gave him the confidence to continue his adventure and seek his personal legend.

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