Book Title: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
Genre: Adventure Fiction
File Type: PDF
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a novel about a young boy named Santiago on a quest to find a treasure that he has a recurring dream about. In his dream, a young boy tells him if he travels to the Egyptian pyramids, he will find a hidden treasure. Uncertain about the journey, the King of Salem ends up convincing Santiago to pursue his Personal Legend.The novel begins with Santiago sleeping under a sycamore tree near a church sacristy. He dreams about the Egyptian pyramids, and in his dream, he is told by a young boy that he must travel to Egypt in order to unearth a hidden treasure. Santiago, seeking clarification about the dream, speaks to an old woman who informs him that the dream is prophetic and he must pursue it.
Santiago seems wary, as he is currently happily enjoying the life of a shepherd. But then he meets Melchizedek, the King of Salem. Melchizedek educates Santiago about good and bad omens and tells him that it is his duty to pursue his Personal Legend. The king provides Santiago with two stones to help interpret omens, Urim and Thummim.
Santiago then proceeds to sell his stock and purchase a boat ticket to Tangier in Northern Africa. There, he encounters misfortune when a thief steals all his money, so almost immediately, Santiago considers giving up. He begins to look for a job so that he can save enough money for a ticket home. He finds work in a crystal shop, and after 11 months of work, he is unsure about what he should do. He has made a significant amount of money, so he could return home to Andalusia and purchase more sheep than he had before. Or he could join a caravan across the Sahara in pursuit of his Personal Legend.
Upon choosing the latter, Santiago meets and Englishman who is attempting to learn the secret of alchemy – the conversion of any metal into gold. The Englishman is travelling to meet a famous alchemist near an oasis along the way. Upon arriving at the oasis, Santiago meets a girl named Fatima and falls in love. Unfortunately, with their arrival, the chieftain of the oasis notifies them that tribal warfare occurring in the desert will not allow them to carry on with their journey.
Shortly after this, as Santiago wanders the desert, he has a vision of an army entering the oasis. Worried, Santiago shares his vision with the chieftain. Soon afterwards, Santiago encounters a veiled stranger on a white horse. It is the Alchemist the Englishman was searching for. The Alchemist offers Santiago the opportunity to travel with him across the desert with him.
The men take off into the desert but are captured and held prisoner by the tribal warriors. They eventually allow them to leave, but at this point, the Alchemist informs Santiago that he must return to the oasis. So Santiago is left to carry on with his Personal Legend and claim it by himself.
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Following Santiago’s story allows you to experience his growth, and if you look deep enough, you’ll find ways to relate his story to your own life. The reference to Personal Legend is kind of an allegory for your own life goals or dreams. He consistently takes risks and does it fearlessly because he truly believes that he is following his heart. Time after time, you see him reject the comforts of his home life in favour of a goal that truly inspires him.
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