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The Alchemist: A Reflection

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The Alchemist: A Reflection

Have you ever thought about why you are who you are? What it is that drives you to be you? What is the way of the world? This is exactly what Paulo Coelho thrives to answer in his book. The main character, Santiago, goes through the Middle East trying to find what he is meant to do in this world. The boy goes along a great journey and considers many times on his way to finding his personal legend. The Alchemist provides many different themes throughout the book. Fate and dreams tops the list of main themes and are very important in the playout of this book.

One of the first themes that I noticed in the book was the idea of fate. Coelho points to fate with many sayings of “Maktub” or “it is written” (59). When the author is using this term, he is suggesting that everyone has a page in the book and it doesn’t matter what is on it, you cannot change what is on it. Every time you see this saying in the book, they are stating that what happened is meant to happen. One of the examples I seen in the book of this was the old king, Melchizedek, tells Santiago that he will find his treasure. The king didn’t know what the boy was looking for on his way to Egypt. But he did indeed know that he was looking for something and verified what the fortune teller had told the boy. This, to me, is like when you are young and a person tells you are going to do something great. I always liked it when a older person told me you could be whatever you want to be and achieve what you dream to achieve. Much like myself, Santiago wants to find what he is meant to find and be what he is meant to be. I think finding what makes you happy will always give you the best feeling you will ever experience in your life.

Fate is also shown in other places through the book. You see the scenario occur when the boy is digging for his treasure and the two men appear and beat the boy almost to death to get his treasure. But if the boy doesn’t take the beating, one of the men would not have told the boy of his vision of the church with a tree growing through the middle and he would not have known to return to the place he started to find his treasure. I think its funny that he is beaten trying to find his treasure and it was in reach when he started his journey. However, if the boy doesn’t go on the journey, he doesn’t learn the language of the world, which was another thing Santiago wanted to learn on his journey. This is the reason I see fate as a diamond in the rough. You can’t always see what you want but sometimes you have to trust yourself and go for what you want.

The next major theme I noticed in the book was the importance of dreams. Dreams are used to interpret many different ideas brought in to this book. The fact that Santiago has dreamt “the same dream that night as a week ago,” and knew that it meant something was a play in of itself (4). When the dream was told to the fortune teller, she told the boy of the treasure he would find. He then decides to chase the dream of finding the treasure because he believes it means something more. In fact, it did mean something more, when he had this dream, it didn’t tell him he would meet the love of his life, meet an Alchemist, or find what it was he was truly looking for; But, Ironically, he indeed encounters all of these things. This shows us just how important dreams should be taken seriously; if you know you are meant for something, but you cannot find it, look in your dreams, in the old king’s words: “read the omens” (40).

Dreams also play the part of a little religious belief. Take the crystal store owner, for example, his dream was to travel to Mecca. As is traveling to Mecca one of the “five obligations to satisfy during our lives” (54). You see, the store owner is obligated to go to Mecca for his religion, but he won’t because of the fear of achieving

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