The Alchemest Essay

Submitted By Allstar6969
Words: 760
Pages: 4

The Alchemist, a novel written by Paulo Coelho teaches us something about the importance of self-dicovery by taking us through the journey of a young shepherd, Santiago. Santiagos depth of self-discovery means at the beginning of the novel are shallow, and we see this when Coelho perceives him believing that travelling through the deserts and experiencing a life as a shepherd is all he wanted to live for. A life of shepherding, Santiago feels was to be his dream. A life different from that as a priest by his fathers wishes, was all he felt was necessary to discover for himself in his own life. Afterall, he could see the castles in the towns where others lived, see the land and how others lived…the reasoning he gives to his father for his desire to follow such a dream. But something sparks; a dream that makes Santiago realize that maybe, just maybe there is more beyond simply travelling and seeing those castles and those towns where others lived. Coelho justifies a turning point in Santiago where he will begin a pursuit of self discovery all due to a reoccurring dream of a hidden treasure. He is advised by a Gypsy woman and an old man, king of Salem to seek out his dream that holds significance. “Never stop dreaming”. The old man had said. Santiagos’ seeking and learning of the treasure is what will begin the journey which teaches us something about self discovery though this young shepherd. His setbacks and misfortunes are what make its importance in Santiago’s journey of self-discovery.

Santiagos first step is the selling of his sheep so that he can have enough money to reach the Egyptian Pyramids and change his lifestyle from that of a shepherd to the new one which he is discovering. However, this plan is halted after he is thieved of all his money from selling his sheep. He is destitute now. Santiago bears no choice but to work for a crystal merchant, which he will work for, for a year to come up with the funds to buy his sheep back and return to life as a shepherd, without the new hope of self-discovering life for himself in a new way. At this point Coelho is suggesting that Santiago has given up his new dream and is willing to convert back to his original lifestyle of travelling as a shepherd. But with every setback, one learns and begins to realize a little more about themselves, thus self-discovering. Coelho proposes this change with the introduction of the Englishman.

It is through the Englishman that Santiago learns about omens acting in this mans life, causing him to drop all his commitments in search for a man who knows a universal language and will teach him to turn any metal into gold. The young boy realizes through the old Englishman’s passion for self-discovery that his first setback of losing all his money doesn’t mean he has to