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Paulo Coelho's 'the Alchemist' . Essay

928 words - 4 pages

The AlchemistPaulo Coelho's 'The Alchemist' is a tale about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who goes on a journey to find treasure. On his journey, Santiago encounters several people including a king, a gypsy woman, an Englishman, and an alchemist. Each person affects his journey in some way or another, be it positive or negative. This essay will focus on the subtle hints that are presented to the reader about certain events that are to occur throughout the novel. In English, this may be referred to as foreshadowing. Other aspects of the book will be discussed such as the heart, Personal Legend, and the Soul of the World.Santiago has a recurrent dream. He talks to a gypsy woman about it, in hopes that he will understand the dream ("It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting, he thought, as he looked at the position of the sun, and hurried his pace. He had suddenly remembered that, in Tarifa, there was an old woman who interpreted dreams."). Santiago explained his dream in detail stating he had he dreamt "that I was in a field with my sheep, when a child appeared and began to play with the animals...and suddenly, the child took me by both hands and transported me to the Egyptian pyramids...then, at the Egyptian pyramids, the child said to me 'if you come here, you will find a hidden treasure.') This is how the beginning of his journey starts, as he decides to look for his treasure after seeking the gypsy woman's interpretation that there awaits a treasure for Santiago.At the end of the novel, we learn that the whole time, Santiago's treasure was where he first began his journey; in Spain. Once he finally reaches the Egyptian pyramids and starts digging for his treasure, he is robbed and beaten by refuges from the tribal wars. Soon after they decide to leave, though one of them said to Santiago, "...I dreamt that I should travel to the fields of Spain and look for a ruined church where shepherds and their sheep slept. In my dream, there was a sycamore growing out of the ruins of the sacristy, and I would find a hidden treasure..." This gave Santiago joy, because he knew that his treasure was back in Spain, and that his journey was to hear those words from the lips of the refugee. For the reader who remembers the first few pages of the book, this can be a huge coincidence. On the first page of the book, the narrator describes, "Dusk was falling as the boy arrived with his herd at an abandoned church. The roof had fallen in long ago, and an enormous sycamore had grown on the spot where the sacristy had once stood." Following a couple...

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