The Alchemist

Essay by Condor_69High School, 12th grade April 2004

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All our lives images, movies, radio, television, and novels have influenced us, and all have been biased in some manner. Texts are prejudiced by what period they have been made in, a movie made in the 70's would be adversely affected by the Vietnam War. A novel written by an Australian about World War Two would be discriminatory against the Japanese and the Germans among others who were also involved in the conflict but where on the other side. The novel that Yr 12 Saint Augustine Students, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is no different and is also subjective.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for letting me speak here today but let me get into this straight away. Coelho writes from a viewpoint of Romanticism. (Power Point Slide for Quote 1) Let me prove this. Coelho proclaimed himself as a romantic when he said "I had this...." Romanticism which's been what you've been studying here at TAFE College.

Before I can continue we must have a similar understanding as to what Romanticism actually is.

The notion of Romanticism began in the eighteenth century as a reaction to the dominant philosophy for most of that century, this was Realism. Romanticism includes ideals such as change, individual approach, exploring new reaches, emphasis on feelings, emotions, individual thought instead of a collective, love of nature and rejection of traditional ways. Impulsiveness and risk taking as well as little care for money.

All of these ideals are present in the Alchemist through the thoughts, views and actions of the boy the book is centered on, Santiago. A common style of writing a novel, is to develop the plot of the story but Coelho has used a less common method of developing the character rather then the plot. Sure the plot continues to grow...