The Alchemist And Coelho Analysis

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Statistically, only one in three Americans consider themselves happy with their lives. In today’s society, the average adult finds little time to participate in leisurely activities that help them discover their own Nirvana. Nirvana, or enlightenment, is the action of attaining or having attained spiritual knowledge or insight. Herman Hesse's’ Siddhartha and Paulo Coelho's’ The Alchemist are two novels about finding one's purpose and seeking enlightenment. In similar fashion, the main characters in The Alchemist and Siddhartha obtain Nirvana by crossing thresholds between the ordinary and enlightened world.
In both The Alchemist and Siddhartha, the initial crossing of the threshold directs both characters towards enlightenment. Santiago contemplated
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In The Alchemist, Santiago realizes that his physical treasure would not be found at the pyramids, but it would be found back in Spain at the abandoned church. He made his way to Spain and “ began to dig at the base of the Sycamore” (Coelho 166). Santiago's finds his treasure under the Sycamore Tree where his journey had originally begun. Throughout literature, trees symbolize knowledge and truth, thus representing that Santiago's treasure was the experiences he had on his journey. The Alchemist explains “If I had told you, you wouldn't have seen the pyramids. They’re beautiful, aren't they?”(Coelho 166). Santiago finally understands that these things happen for a reason and is at peace, not wanting anything different. He realizes that “The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and to never forget the drops of oil on the spoon”( Coelho 32). Similarly, Siddartha found his nirvana through truth in nature. When Siddhartha crossed over the river that represented his threshold, he heard an om. The om deeply connected to his soul, the sound was a rebirth for him as he had “recognized the folly of his actions...the Omm reached his consciousness and he recognized his wretchedness and his crime.” (Hesse 89). Siddhartha overcame his greed and was finally content with himself after listening to nature. As his enlightening moment occurs, Siddhartha is in the river. The river