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    An Analysis of the Novel, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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    Santiago couldn’t forget his vision that vanished just as quickly as it had come…he had seen an army, with its swords at the ready, riding into the oasis. The Alchemist, written by Paulo Coelho, is a book about a boy who has a dream, which leads to the pursuit of his treasure, his personal legend. Along the way he learns many important life lessons. The boy, Santiago, believes in omens and pays close attention to his surroundings. However, there is one simple lesson Santiago learns from an alchemist – seldom are you believed when you possess great treasures within you- and it ends up saving his life.

    The alchemist found it important to show Santiago one of life’s simple lessons, when you possess great treasure within you, seldom are you believed. While the alchemist was hunting for his falcon three armed tribesmen approached, and after searching through their bags and discovering their possessions one asked: “What are these things?” – “That’s the Philosopher’s Stone and the Elixir of Life. It’s the Master Work of alchemists. W

    hoever swallows that elixir will never be sick again, and a fragment from that stone turns any metal into gold.” [The Alchemist] After the Arabs laughed and let the Alchemist and the boy continue on, the boy immediately asked ‘are you crazy?’ In reply, the alchemist told him one of life’s simple lessons, “When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.” The Alchemist had told the soldiers exactly what each item was.

    The soldiers, in return, did not believe him-it didn’t seem possible that what the Alchemist had said was actually true. When you know something is true, others may not ever believe you, mainly because of how far fetched it is, or even how simple. This lesson the Alchemist tells Santiago, later saves life.

    At the pyramids, Santiago demonstrates the life lesson he learned earlier, after being spotted by several tribal war refugees digging for his treasure where his tears had fallen. He was beaten by the men until, finally, the boy recalled the words the Alchemist had once said to him, “What good is money to you if you’re going to die? It’s not often that money can save someone’s life.” The boy screamed at the men: “I’m digging for treasure!” And, though his mouth was bleeding and swollen, he told his attackers that he had twice dreamed of a treasure hidden near the Pyramids of Egypt.

    The man who appeared to be the leader of the group spoke to one of the others: “Leave him. He doesn’t have anything else. He must have stolen this gold.” Before the men left, the leader came back to the boy and told him of a dream he once had. This was the same place where the boy was at the very beginning of the story. After the man left the boy was bursting with joy because he knew now where his treasure was – the man told him. The alchemist’s lesson went into play here, it proved that, through an order of events, if you possess great and wonderful treasures within you, rarely are you believed.

    Santiago told the men he was digging for his treasure – but they didn’t believe him. The treasure isn’t literally in his heart, but in his heart he believes in the treasure and where it is. The men didn’t believe him, even though he possessed these great treasures within himself. The simple life lesson also allowed him to find out where his treasure really was – and where his recurrent dream never showed him. That he had to do himself. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be. His heart had always been in Andalusia.

    Santiago had always wanted to be a shepherd…but he had to give that up to pursue his treasure. He had learned from his sheep, just as he continued to learn along his journey, and, in the process, learned an important lesson that saved his life. Sometimes you must give up everything, gamble everything, and even tell the truth, no matter how valuable it might be to keep it a secret, just to be able to succeed in life. In doing so, Santiago not only saved himself, but found his treasure, settling his ultimate goal: living and finding his Personal Legend.

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    An Analysis of the Novel, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. (2022, Dec 13). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/an-analysis-of-the-novel-the-alchemist-by-paulo-coelho/

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