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The Alchemist Essay

1014 words - 5 pages

“Follow your heart and make it your decision”(Hamm). The Alchemist is about a shepherd named Santiago who goes on a journey to find his Personal Legend. He goes through different trials that puts him to the test and makes him consider not taking his journey, but he pays attention to the omens and his heart. He learns that by letting his heart lead him it will help him find his personal legend. This story expresses its theme through three different literary elements. These three elements are conflict, dynamic character, and Irony. The theme of this piece of literature is, to find yourself; you must follow your heart.
Conflict is used in this story to give Santiago the motivation to go out and pursue his Personal Legend. The conflict he has with his dreams are what give him the urge to embark on his journey to the pyramids (13-14). These dreams are a problem for Santiago because he doesn’t understand them, and they are telling him to go find a treasure. These dreams are his heart speaking to him, and telling him to go find his treasure. The gypsy woman that he gets to interpret his dreams just tells him what he already knows (14). When she tells him what he already knows it discourages him and makes him not want to believe in his dreams. He is unhappy with what she has told him so this gives him the extra push to go in search of himself. Another conflict he has is having to give up some of his sheep for information from the king (19-20). He has to decide within himself and listen to his heart here on what to do. He doesn’t really want to do this because he is going to have to give up what he knows to go in search of himself or in other words his Personal Legend. These conflicts are what makes Santiago decide to actually go on his journey so that he can really discover who he is and what his treasure is.
Santiago is a good example of dynamic character which is the next element that supports the theme of this story. He is a dynamic character because he changes from the beginning of his journey to the end. Santiago begins his journey as a shepherd who knows very little about the world and following his heart (33). This is the start of his journey, knowing nothing, this way he can learn throughout the journey he will take. This is so he can have a open mind to learn. Santiago changes at the oasis. He changes from not following his heart to understanding and following it. When he does this he gets a reward from listening to it and saving people from the tribesmen that attack the oasis (111-112). This is where he mainly starts to change because by listening to his heart it has caused him to endanger his life by trusting it. At the end of the passage he...

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