My Impressions of "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho

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Santiago, the protagonist of the novel, is a young Spanish shepherd boy.He dreams of an extraordinary treasure buried near the pyramids of Egypt. Santiago’s journey is met with many obstacles and trials. Along his journey he meets many different individuals who become teacher to him. His treasure is not buried near the pyramids but ends up being buried right back where his journey began, under the tree where he had the prophetic dream years before. He digs and finds a beautiful chest full of gold and gems. His Last Journey is to return to Fatima.

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The author Paulo Coelho tells us in this book that always follow your dreams and listen to your heart. At the start of the novel Santiago does not know what he should do when he is confronted by his dream. But by the end of the novel Santiago completely trusts his heart to guide him though life. Santiago’s story shows him learning and living out the theme of the novel.

I think Paulo passed on his message about following your heart quite well. Through Santiago he showed that you must endure some hardship before you are rewarded for your efforts. I think I will always remember Santiago’s journey and the lessons he learned along the way. I believe that this novel was meant to be read by people who are old enough to understand different struggles people sometimes need to endure to achieve goal. If someone were not to understand this concept then the novel would be “empty,” for them.

The most interesting thing I found about the novel was the way Paulo build up Santiago’s hopes and then destroyed them. Paulo not only did this several times but he also chose to do it right after Santiago thought he had learned a lesson about life. Most books I have read don’t build up and destroy the main characters hopes so perniciously.

I find that Santiago’s journey is fairly unlikely to ever occur in real life. At the end of the novel, Santiago digs for his treasure but finds nothing, however the one man in the world that would tell him another place so search just so happens to be right there waiting. The odds of this happening are very low at best. Another thing that is impossible to occur in real life is someone turning lead into gold. This is not something that could be done.

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