The Alchemist:courage to follow dreams

“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say.”
    _Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

ALCHEMIST ,an allegorical novel ,translated in more than 70 languages worldwide  is one of the best novel of paulo coelho de souza,a brazilian novelist.


Santiago, a young and adventurous shepherd in southern spain has a recurring dream about finding treasure in egyptian pyramids.He seeks advice from a gypsy woman who tells him to go to Egypt. Frustrated of troublesome dream he meets a strange, magical old man named Melchizedek, who claims to be the King of Salem, echoes the gypsy’s advice and tells Santiago that it is his Personal Legend to journey to the pyramids. Melchizedek convinces Santiago to sell his flock and set off to Tangier.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.

When Santiago arrives in Tangier ,a thief robs him, forcing him to find work with a local crystal merchant. In his year at the crystal shop, he helps the man expand his business. The merchant now has the money to fulfill his religious obligation and life dream of travelling to Mecca. He doesn’t do it, though, saying he’s afraid he’d have nothing to live for and would be disappointed if he realized his dream.
 There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

Santiago leaves the crystal shop after rebuilding his savings. He plans to return to Spain and buy more sheep. Out of curiosity, he decides to find out the distance to the pyramids. He joins a caravan crossing the Sahara desert toward Egypt and meets an Englishman who is studying to become an alchemist. He learns a lot from the Englishman during the journey. For one, he learns that the secret of alchemy is written on a stone called the Emerald Tablet.Santiago learns the Englishman is travelling with the caravan to the Saharan oasis of Al-Fayoum, where a powerful, 200-year-old alchemist resides.The Englishman plans to ask the alchemist the secret of his trade.
At the desert oasis Al-Fayoum, Santiago meets a girl named Fatima. He immediately knows she is the one for him because they are wordlessly speaking the universal language to one another. He decides she is more important to him than finding his treasure, and he asks her to marry him ,but she says him to follow his dream.
At the oasis,the boy meets the Alchemist who tells Santiago that the wind told him that the boy was coming.The alchemist tells the boy that he will take him the rest of the way through the desert to the Egyptian pyramids.

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked.
“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.”

While the alchemist and Santiago continue through the desert, the alchemist shares much of his wisdom about the Soul of the World. The alchemist continues to travel with Santiago as far as a Coptic monastery several hours from the pyramids. There, he demonstrates to Santiago his ability to turn lead into gold using the Philosopher’s Stone. He gives Santiago gold and sends him off.When the boy finally reaches at the pyramids ,he starts digging or the treasure. Meanwhile, two men attack him and beat him.When Santiago speaks to them about his dream vision, they decide he must have no money and let him live. Before leaving, one of the men tries to illustrate the worthlessness of dreams by telling Santiago about his own dream. It concerns a treasure buried in an abandoned church in Spain where a sycamore tree grows. Santiago realizes the man is describing a church where he, Santiago, slept back home.Santiago finally understands where the treasure is.He returns to Spain to find a chest of jewels and gold buried under the tree, and plans to return with it to Al-Fayoum, where he will reunite with Fatima, who awaits him.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist


Being the best novel of Paulo Coelho ,it helps us to have enough courage to follow our dreams and make our dreams turn into reality.The novel has metaphorically explained a lot of difficulties that come in our path,but an unflinching soul keeps struggling.

Main character:

Santiago being the main character  of novel is perfectly  explained as an Andalusian boy who is determined to face all the difficulties.He does everything from selling his sheep to crossing the sahara desert,but all this doesn’t stop him from moving towards the  Egyptian pyramids.His undaunted passion brings him luck.

    “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”

Regards: Shanza Akram


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