Essay on The Alchemist

791 Words Feb 9th, 2015 4 Pages
The Alchemist

The Alchemist is a novel first published in 1988 by Brazilian-born author Paulo Coehlo. It has sold more than 65 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best selling books of all time, and has been translated in over 60 languages. The book follows an adventurous shepherd boy named Santiago who has recurring dream leads him on a journey to find hidden treasure. The book begins Santiago has the same troubling recurring dream, when sleeping under a sycamore that grows out of the ruins of a church, of a child telling him to seek treasure at the base of the Egyptian pyramids. After a gypsy tells him to go to Egypt once hearing his dream, a strange old man appears, claiming to be the King of Salem, tells him it is his
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Once arriving at the Egyptian pyramids Santiago begins to dig but finds nothing buried. Two thieves beat up Santiago for his money but once telling them about his dream they conclude he doesn’t have any. Before leaving, one of the men illustrates the worthlessness of dreams by telling Santiago about his own dream of treasure buried in a an abandoned church under a sycamore tree. Santiago understands that this is where he had his own dream and goes back to Spain where he finds his buried treasure. Although the story of The Alchemist is fantastical, the themes and lessons learned by Santiago are relevant and valuable life lessons. Santiago’s courage and belief in following his heart are commendable attributes. Santiago is faced with many hard decisions, the first of which is whether to leave his modest and secure lifestyle to commence his Personal Journey. Santiago has the courage to leave his sense of security by selling his flock and traveling to unfamiliar and strange part of the world. The contrast is shown through the crystal merchant Santiago works for who has dreamed of going on his pilgrimage to Mecca for years but never did. Another characteristic Santiago exhibits is his enthusiasm and ambition. The crystal merchant he ends working for his a humble, kind, person who doesn’t like to take risks. Santiago approaches his new work with focus and eagerness, learning everything he

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