The Alchemist Reflection

910 Words 4 Pages
Everyone, in some way, is on a path to seeking joy. While people can achieve their goals along the road and be flooded with joy, there is an equivalent sense of fulfilment in the lessons that are learned along the way. An insightful fable of a young boy within Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist highlights the lesson that the subtle nuances of a journey, along with the choices one makes, are what shape a person; this lesson is illustrated through the contrasting experiences of Santiago, the Englishman, and the crystal merchant.
In the novel, Santiago’s goal is to find treasure; although he accomplishes this, the real treasure lies within the multitude of lessons that Santiago learned through the choices he made along the way. Before his journey,
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This lesson resonated with Santiago, for he ignored outside influences and chose to follow his personal legend. The controlled journey to the pyramids is Santiago’s equivalent of the oil on the spoon, and the king is just like the king in the fable, for he encouraged Santiago to stay on the track of his goal regardless of the circumstances. The wise words of the king helped give Santiago the courage to embark on his journey-a choice he would surely not regret. After taking his journey and gaining a new perspective on both life and himself, Santiago finds that the treasure he was in search for back at the Sycamore tree where the novel began. Here, Santiago is talking to the wind, who was observing his whole journey. Santiago inquires as to if the wind could have let him avoid the long way to the treasure, to which it answers,"No, if I had told you, you wouldn't have seen the Pyramids. They're beautiful, aren't they?". The wind’s wise …show more content…
Despite their differences, Santiago tries to give the Englishman advice by saying, "You should pay more attention to the caravan. We make a lot of detours, but we're always heading for the same destination” (77) . This advice represents the fact that a destination can be reached through different routes,In The Alchemist the Englishman gains his perspective on the world through reading books and observing people, while Santiago gets his from examining the natural world. Regardless of the fact that they have different ways of getting to their goals, the Englishman and Santiago are still going down the same path. The subtle differences in the ways Santiago and the Englishman observe the world to achieve similar goals symbolize the boy in the fable looking at the castle’s surroundings. In the end, it did not matter whether the boy was looking at the tapestries or the garden as long as he did not spill the oil. Problems only arise when the oil is spilled and the surroundings are left

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