Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist: Following your dream is no easy task. Thesis Statement: Paulo Coelho’s book, The Alchemist (1988), demonstrates a boy named Santiago following his dream, also known as his “Personal Legend”, and encounters various obstacles, which will convey him to what he will become. The connection made by Paulo Coelho in this manuscript was, all that is around him will eventually assist the effort made by the individual (Santiago).
Paulo Coelho reveals many spiritual/religious references tied with the acts and decisions of Santiago, and how they guide him, and how he follows them up to obtain his desired dream.
Introduction: An old man that he had met in his village awakes Santiago, a young shepherd. Awoken in the sense that this man declared he was a King, and had inspired Santiago to follow his “Personal Legend”, basically, his dream, and had served knowledge to this young fellow. Throughout Santiago’s journeys, good omens had made him pursue his goal. The shepherd encounters various strangers, which help him, willingly or not, to chase his goal. During his quest, he awakes various senses he never had before, such as profound wisdom, communicating with nature, a spiritual connection with God, and the art of Alchemy.
Santiago constantly takes life-threatening risks, which are considered challenges in the face of God. Throughout his whole journey, Santiago persistently follows his one and only reason of being, his dream, which is to find the treasure he dreamed of as a shepherd, and throughout his whole adventure, every little detail that crossed him, every lesson that he had been taught, with or without words, the soul of the world that he understood to communicate with, every little detail had defined his true treasure. Body Essay: As pointed out, Santiago was a dream chaser, he wanted to discover his Personal Legend”, what pushed him to do so was a wise old king Melchizedek. The fact that a King would speak to a shepherd is very odd, although the King was doing it for several reasons, it may include the fact that he wanted to make other people realize and drive them to know their “Personal Legend” as shown: “Why would a king be talking with a shepherd? ” the boy asked, awed and embarrassed. “For several reasons. But let’s say that the most important is that you have succeeded in discovering your Personal Legend. ” (21) This explains how the king is trying to help the Santiago realize his reason of life.
As stated previously, he had overcome an obstacle that had given him patience, wisdom, and a lesson. He necessitated to understand that everything had a soul, which when he was an apprentice crystal merchant, had taught him these qualities. “Everything on earth is being continuously transformed, because the earth is alive . . . and it has a soul. We are part of that soul, so we rarely recognize that it is working for us. But in the crystal shop you probably realized that even the glasses were collaborating in your success. (79) This spiritual reference indicates that if he insisted on succeeding his dream, everything around him, conscious/unconscious will be of assistance to him. Long travels were endured by Santiago; yet, he was on the verge of giving up his “Personal Legend” for a woman, which is natural. The love he felt for Fatima, (the woman he loved), was an asset that pushed him to go further on and chasing his dream, yet, at the same time, it made him doubt the fact that if this was all worth the chase, the gamble of life and death. “During the third year, the omens will continue to speak of your treasure and your Personal Legend.
You’ll walk around, night after night at the oasis, and Fatima will be unhappy because she’ll feel it was she who interrupted your quest. But you will love her, and she’ll return your love. You’ll remember that she never asked you to stay, because a woman of the desert knows that she must await her man. So you won’t blame her. But many times you’ll walk the sands of the desert, thinking that maybe you could have left . . . that you could have trusted more in your love for Fatima. Because what kept you at the oasis was your own fear that you might never come back. At that point, the omens will tell you that your treasure is buried forever. (120) Here is another example of the proverb shown in the book, “…when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”, as which everything around him drives him to go further and pursuit his dream. He realized that his dream had shown him all these magnificent experiences; nothing would stop him at this point, even Santiago, a shepherd, a boy, did not fear death. His dream meant everything to him. Conclusion: Santiago, a simple shepherd, made it very far in life by just pursuing in an extremist way his true goal in life, his Personal Legend.
He had overcome every obstacle God and nature intended to test him with, and succeeded in a redeeming way. It is wonderful how Paulo Coelho shows that when you pursue what you love in life, everything around you, living or unconscious, will help you. Santiago proves bravery, strength, wisdom, patience, and various other qualities. It is astonishing how by doing things with love, and joy, you connect with the world and God. Santiago at this point, had completed his emptiness, he achieved his one true meaning, his dream and goal.