The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: Summary, Characters &amp - AhlynewsInfo

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: Summary, Characters &amp

The Alchemist Guide


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Part 1 Summary~


4/12/2013

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Santiago arrives at an abandoned church, where he decides to spend the night. While sleeping he has a disturbing dream, which we don’t find out about, the dream is the same as the one he had one year ago around the same time. When he wakes he talks to his sheep about a young girl who he had meet in this town the year prior. While meeting her he experienced, for the first time, the desire to stay in a single place for the remainder of his life. The girl was a merchant’s daughter who Santiago had sold sheep. The merchant had asked him to return the next year.


 


Santiago recalls his childhood, he was raised to become a priest. He also recalls the day he told his father he wanted to travel instead. The next day his father gave him three gold coins to go and buy a flock of sheep. His father had told him many things that day and Santiago thinks about them. He then remembers there is a woman in the town he is travelling to that deciphers dreams. He decides to visit her.  

He goes to the gypsy and she listens to his dream. He tells her he has a dream that a child is playing with his sheep and telling him about treasure at the pyramids. But right before he tells the exact location Santiago wakes up.  The gypsy tells Santiago he must go to the pyramids to find the treasure; she says she knows it is real because a child was the one to say it. She also says she will not charge him for her service, but want ten percent of the treasure when he finds it. 

Later while reading Santiago is approached by a man who asks him many question. The man tells him about fate and Personal Legend. He introduces himself as Melchizedek, the King of Salem. Santiago has never heard of such a place and begins to think the man is crazy. The old man then says he know about the treasure and also about Santiago. Things the man should not know. He asks for 1/10 of Santiago’s sheep and he will tell him where the treasure is.

The meeting upsets Santiago and he wander throughout the city. He decides to sell his sheep and take 1/10 to Melchizedek. Melchizedek says Santiago can find his treasure in Egypt at the pyramids. Santiago is annoyed he does not give a more exact location, and then his first omen appears, a butterfly. Melchizedek then give Santiago two stones called Urim and Thummim, they represent “yes” and “no”, and they will help Santiago read his omens. Melchizedek’s last advice to Santiago was that he mustn’t forget his flock.

Santiago makes it to Africa. And goes to a bar in the port town he has arrived in. He meets another young man who speaks Spanish like him and begins to explain his goal. The young man offers to be his guide and Santiago agrees. The young man says they need to buy camels and take Santiago to a market place where he asks for money to buy the camels. Santiago soon realizes the young man disappeared. He waits for him until nightfall, and then realizes he has been robbed of all his money.  

He sleeps in the market place and awakens to merchants setting up their shops. He helps a man selling candy you offers him his first sweet. They communicate in different languages and in the language without words. Santiago decides to keep walking. He finds a crystal merchant and does service for him in exchange for food. He asks the man if he can clean all his crystal in return for money to get to Egypt. The man says it is so expensive that he could not earn enough money in a year, but offers him a job. Santiago agrees and takes the job.

2 Comments

DeeznutZ
12/1/2017 04:57:24 am

too long a bit


Reply

JennyC
5/16/2018 03:03:47 pm

.


Reply

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The Alchemist Review Sample: The Story of Narcissus

Posted on September 1, 2015 by EssayShark

How Does the Story of Narcissus Relate to the Broader Message of The Alchemist?

The Alchemist is the novel written by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. The main character of the book is the alchemist, a shepherd named Santiago who pursues his dreams to find a treasure and reaches it in the end. The book also includes prolog with the myth of Narcissus what is a metaphor for the main message of the book. The message suggests following own path and being self-focused to succeed in life.

The Alchemist Review Sample

The prologue of the book tells the myth about Narcissus. “The alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus” (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist, 1988). The alchemist is familiar with the story of Narcissus.” A youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus” (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist,1988). However, the book the alchemist reads has another ending. Narcissus dyes and the goddesses of the forest finds out that the lake, which has been full of water, turned into a lake of tears. The lake says to the goddesses that it cries for Narcissus. Yet it is not Narcissus’s beauty what the lake misses but it’s own beauty which has been visible in the eyes of Narcissus when he looked at it. “I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected” (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist,1988).

The myth of Narcissus initially is a story of danger of excess self-love. Narcissus ends up dying, as he is too concerned about his own reflection in the lake and falls eventually. Though, the alchemist’s takes this story as “lovely” one. “What a lovely story,’ the alchemist thought” (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist,1988). It is the author’s way of saying that narcissism is goodness. This is the connection between the myth of Narcissus and the main message of the entire novel which empathizes that ability to pursue own dreams is necessary to succeed in life. “People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of” (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist,1988).

The novel describes the story of the alchemist by his journey to Africa. At the end of the book Santiago reaches his dreams and finds the treasure. First, while sleeping nearby a ruined church, the shepherd dreams about a child who tells him to go to Africa to find the fortune. Santiago goes to a gypsy woman and she confirms that he should set out his journey. After that the boy meets Melchizedek who also suggests Santiago to go to Egypt to find that treasure. “Melchizedek explains that Santiago has discovered his ‘Personal Legend,’ the thing he has always wanted to accomplish, and that ‘to realize one’s Personal Legend is a person’s only real obligation” (StudyMode. The Alchemist). This is one of the first points of the book where readers may see how the prolog with the myth about Narcissus is related to a general concept of the novel. The alchemist decides to go to Africa where he faces various challenges. His all money is thieved and he has to work to earn some to return home (Spark Notes. The Alchemist). Though, when he becomes a wealthy man in a year he risks and stays in Egypt to pursue his “personal legend.” During the journey he meets alchemist who helps the boy not only go on his journey but also shares his wisdom. “This is Super Alchemist […] like all alchemists, but he has the wisdom of the ages […] It is the alchemist who guides our shepherd friend through the metaphorical jungle of indecision before leading him, quiet literally, through the desert to find his treasure” (BC blogcritics. Book review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho). It is Santiago’s believe that he deserves that treasure and learned wisdom that his desire is important what helps him to make the dream come true.

Santiago is one of those who are not afraid of pursuing his dreams. He reaches what he is eager to have. While seeking for the treasure, he learns that it is crucial to be self-focused and follow “personal legend.” The author of the book disagrees with the view that in order to deserve love we should give up own desires and live in a way others want us to do. “You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit its because it wasn’t true love .. the love that speaks the Language of the World” (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist,1988). It is understandable that Paulo Coelho explains that it is not wrong to love own self and connects the story of Narcissus with the concept released in the book. “No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world” (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist, 1988). The author tells that the key to happiness and success is realizing own importance and wishes. “But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here” (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist,1988).

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The bestselling novel, ”The Alchemist”, is often referred to as a must-read. What makes this book so special? Read on for a summary of the book, an introduction to its complex characters and some of the novel’s most important quotes.

Overview of The Alchemist

Have you ever had a dream so real it made you want to act on it? In Paulo Coelho’s, The Alchemist, published in 1988, Santiago, a young male shepherd, dreams of discovering treasure in far off Egypt. Let’s take a closer look at this complicated plot.

Author Paulo Coelho
p coelho

Santiago’s Dream

In The Alchemist, whenever Santiago falls asleep under a sycamore tree located near an abandoned church in Spain, he has a recurring dream: he will find treasure if he travels to the pyramids in Egypt. Upon the advice of a gypsy woman and Melchizedek, who purports to be the King of Salem, Santiago goes to Egypt in search of his own Personal Legend. Melchizedek tells Santiago, ‘…whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.’

What would you do if you were in Santiago’s position? Stay where you’re comfortable and safe or travel to a foreign land to discover your Personal Legend? Let’s see what Santiago decides to do.

Santiago in Africa

The good news is Santiago decides to go to Egypt; the bad news is someone robs him when he gets off the boat in Tangier, a country in North Africa. With no money and in low spirits Santiago finds a job in a shop that sells crystals, and in the course of advising the crystal merchant, finds himself a wealthy man. Instead of using his new wealth to return home, the former shepherd crosses the Sahara desert in search of his Personal Legend.

Santiago joins a caravan that includes an Englishman, who is searching for the secret of alchemy, or the process of turning metal into gold. The Englishman is on his own quest for a 200-year-old master alchemist, who lives at an oasis on the way to the pyramids. Once they reach the oasis, Santiago meets and falls in love with a girl named Fatima. However, tribal warfare overshadows his happiness, and an invitation from the alchemist leads him to abandon Fatima and continue on his way. Before Santiago leaves, Fatima reminds him, ‘If I am really a part of your dream, you’ll come back one day.’

Santiago searches for his Personal Legend
the alchemist

Santiago in Egypt

While Santiago and the alchemist travel across the desert, the latter teaches the shepherd about the ‘Soul of the World’. As the pair nears the pyramids, they’re taken prisoner by some Arab soldiers. In an effort to save their lives, Santiago gives the soldiers all his money, and after appealing to the Hand That Wrote All, awes them by creating a sandstorm and turning himself into wind.

As the alchemist and Santiago resume their journey to the pyramid, the alchemist shows Santiago how to turn lead into gold using the Philosopher’s Stone; he tells him: ‘Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.’ While digging for treasure at the pyramids, Santiago is beaten by two men, who eventually decide to let him live. Before the two men leave, one of them describes his own dream to Santiago, one that concerns a buried treasure located beneath church ruins in Spain near a sycamore tree.

Remember this tree? Yep, it’s the same one under which Santiago had his dream at the beginning of the story. Santiago goes back to Spain, and after finding buried treasure beneath the sycamore tree, decides to return to Fatima and the oasis.

In reflecting upon his journey, Santiago says: ‘This is why alchemy exists….So that everyone will search for his treasure, find it, and then want to be better than he was in his former life.’

Lesson Summary

The Alchemist was written by Paulo Coelho and published in 1988. In the story, Santiago, the main character, embarks on a journey from Spain to Egypt and a search for his Personal Legend. When Santiago arrives in Tangier, his plans take a turn for the worse when he’s robbed. However, after earning a fortune in a crystal shop, Santiago resumes his expedition to Egypt, during which time he meets an Englishman, a woman named Fatima and the alchemist. After nearly losing his life, Santiago eventually returns to Spain, where he finds his treasure buried beneath a sycamore tree, the same spot where he dreamed about his journey in the first place.


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