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Heart, Mind And Fear In The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho

1084 words - 5 pages

Fear is an emotion that negatively influences people to shy away from their plans. Throughout the novel, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, many characters are overcome with fear and more specifically, the fear of loss and fear of the future. Coelho repeatedly shows that by conquering these fears, people are freed from the bounds of fear and therefore willing to take action on their dreams.

To begin with, the fear of losing beloved things or people presents people with dilemmas that influence the continuation of their journey and they can only bypass these dilemmas by getting rid of the fear altogether. To begin, Santiago’s fear of losing everything he already earned makes him second guess his ...view middle of the document...

Influencing enough, that it is easy to convince Santiago to abandon his journey in exchange for his life. But, he conquers this fear of death because he knows that eventually, everyone is going to die, and therefore the fear of something unchangeable must not stop him from pursuing his dreams. Lastly, Santiago’s fear of losing his love, Fatima, on the journey makes Santiago wary about leaving her. Santiago makes the decision “‘to stay at the oasis…He [has] found Fatima, and, as far as [he] [is] concerned, she [is] worth more than treasure’” (Coelho 133). The alchemist then reassures Santiago that “‘love never keeps a man from pursuing his destiny. If he abandons that pursuit, it [is] because it was [not] true love’” (Coelho 135). The alchemist effectively changes Santiago’s mindset so he understands that true love cannot be lost, and therefore being afraid of losing it is worthless and should be eliminated. This encourages Santiago to put trust into his love and pursue his dream. Therefore, people can only move towards their dreams if they conquer their fear of loss.

Furthermore, fear of what the future holds make people re-evaluate their plans in order to prevent hardship; but people must get rid of this fear because they do not really know what is going to happen. First, Santiago’s fear of failing to achieve his dream in the future causes him to be more reluctant in proceeding with his journey. During the journey Santiago’s heart “began to speak of fear. It told him stories it had heard from the Soul of the World, stories of men who sought to find their treasure and never succeeded. Sometimes it frightened the boy with the idea that he might not find his treasure” (Coelho 144). The fear of not being successful in a journey, backed up by stories of unsuccessful journeys causes Santiago to wonder if it is even worth trying in the first place. But, he must conquer this fear because all the ‘what-ifs’ will not do anything but slow him down and make his heart more confused. Second, the fear of emptiness in life after a dream is achieved...

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