The Alchemist

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The Alchemist Summary The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, is a story of an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who embarks on a journey full of obstacles, hope, love and learnings to follow his personal legend. The story begins with Santiago having a recurring dream, in which a child tells him that a treasure awaits him at the Egyptian pyramids. A gypsy tells him to listen to the dream and an old man who claims to be the King of Salem suggests the same. The king introduces the concept of Personal Legend to Santiago. It refers to what every individual strives to accomplish and become, an idea of creating his own destiny based on his desires alone. The King asks him to pursue his dream. Although Santiago arrives at Tangier to cross the Sahara…show more content…
During his crossing of the Sahara Desert in a caravan, he encounters an Englishman whose goal is to become an alchemist. He talks about the secrets of alchemy and most importantly, the Soul of the World. It’s a force that attempts to unite everything to achieve a better world. Caught in the midst of a tribal warfare, the caravan is briefly unable to further advance from the oasis of Al-Fayoum. Santiago predicts an incoming tribal attack and warns the villagers in advance. The alchemist reveals himself and talks to Santiago about his personal legend and his need to follow it. However, Santiago has met a girl named Fatima whom he instantly fell in love with. She insists him to follow his personal legend and therefore, he continues his journey soon after. The alchemist now companies Santiago in his journey. Although they face new obstacles, Santiago manages to go on his way unharmed. Before Santiago reaches the pyramids, the alchemist demonstrates the philosopher’s stone and leaves him with gold to last his journey. Santiago reaches the pyramids, yet fails to find the treasure. Two thieves come across him and rob him of his money, as well as beat him. Santiago tells them of…show more content…
However, the period in which the story took place is undefined. There is no clear indication so as the readers, we can only assume that it is in a pre-modern time. It’s likely that it’s past the 1900s because there is a mention of vinyl in the story. The story begins out in the city of Tarifa, southern Spain. The boy travels to Tangier, a small port town in Morocco. Before he reaches Egypt, he stays in the Al-Fayoum Oasis in the Sahara desert. The author specifically choses to expose Santiago and the readers to foreign lands that radiate feelings of ancient mystery. Coelho does an excellent job at portraying the story as an ancient fable, and perhaps the absence of a specific time period will make it convenient for the future generations to relate to the story

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