Examples Of Conformity In The Alchemist

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When realizing a dream, one often comes face to face with the fear of failure. This fear pressures the individual into conforming in a variety of ways. One may perceive conformity as an asset that helps an individual to pursue his dream; however, conformity is, in actual, a setback that “convinces [individuals] that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend” (21). One character that displays this fear in The Alchemist is the crystal merchant. Unlike most individuals, the crystal merchant does not fear that he, himself, will fail to pursue his dream, rather, he fears that his dream of “go[ing] to Mecca” (54) will fail him instead. Despite seeing that “all who went [to Mecca] were happy at having done so”, the crystal merchant has already “imagined a thousand times” of fulfilling his dream and therefore fears that “it would all be a…show more content…
This hesitation and doubt causes the crystal merchant to conform, and instead live his life simply “dream[ing] about Mecca” (55). This choice of conformity forever abstains the crystal merchant from pursuing his dream, as he himself admits, “[he is] not going to go to Mecca” (61). Another example of submitting to the fear of failure is when the Englishman searches for the Alchemist in desire of achieving the Master Work and learning alchemy - the science of turning lead into gold. However, the Englishman is far too afraid to attempt the act himself and adapts to that fear through means of literature. He wallows in his fear by spending “enormous amounts of time at the great libraries of the world, and [by purchasing] all the rarest and most important volumes on alchemy” (66), too fearful to ever perform alchemy itself. This is evident especially when the Englishman eventually decides to overcome his fear and attempt alchemy for

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