Paulo Coelho's 'The Alchemist' .

Essay by misterwhiskersHigh School, 12th gradeA-, May 2003

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The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho's 'The Alchemist' is a tale about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who goes on a journey to find treasure. On his journey, Santiago encounters several people including a king, a gypsy woman, an Englishman, and an alchemist. Each person affects his journey in some way or another, be it positive or negative. This essay will focus on the subtle hints that are presented to the reader about certain events that are to occur throughout the novel. In English, this may be referred to as foreshadowing. Other aspects of the book will be discussed such as the heart, Personal Legend, and the Soul of the World.

Santiago has a recurrent dream. He talks to a gypsy woman about it, in hopes that he will understand the dream ("It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting, he thought, as he looked at the position of the sun, and hurried his pace.

He had suddenly remembered that, in Tarifa, there was an old woman who interpreted dreams."). Santiago explained his dream in detail stating he had he dreamt "that I was in a field with my sheep, when a child appeared and began to play with the animals...and suddenly, the child took me by both hands and transported me to the Egyptian pyramids...then, at the Egyptian pyramids, the child said to me 'if you come here, you will find a hidden treasure.') This is how the beginning of his journey starts, as he decides to look for his treasure after seeking the gypsy woman's interpretation that there awaits a treasure for Santiago.

At the end of the novel, we learn that the whole time, Santiago's treasure was where he first began his journey; in Spain. Once he finally reaches...