Hero's Journey In The Alchemist

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People who do not attempt to achieve their destiny live their lives wistfully of what could be. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho chronicled the story of Santiago, a young Shepard boy who traveled miles in search of his own personal legend. Santiago embarks on his trek, leaving behind his comfortable life as a Shepard to discover his personal legend. On Santiago’s trek, his mind evolves in the way he thinks and acts that rivals the Alchemist, through his heart, journey, and the language of the world. Santiago chasing his love for Fatima led him to discover the desires of his heart and himself. For example, Santiago was ready to give up his destiny and stay with Fatima after finding her halfway through his journey. When Santiago was contemplating…show more content…
Yet, the moment when Santiago's forehead touched his mentor's scimitar, Santiago's real journey started. A hero's journey does not start until one meets their mentor. The Alchemist would sometimes bluntly tell Santiago, "'There is only one way to learn,' the alchemist answered. 'It's through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey'" (Coelho 125). The Alchemist telling Santiago this concluded his journey with his mentor. Although Santiago believed he did not learn anything, it was through action he learned the most. For example, Santiago learned how to speak to the desert, wind, sun, and the heavens to know the hand that wrote it all. This helped Santiago realize at the end, the real treasure was his journey. Although the Alchemist gave Santiago a hint of what his real treasure was, Santiago learned at the end, his journey was the greatest treasure for all the things he had learned and the people he met. Also, no person, neither the Alchemist nor the chieftains can learn or grow without real experience. Santiago lived the lifestyle of cattle before departing to chase his personal legend. When Santiago lived in Andalusia, he learned only from his books. He knew the lands of Andalusia like the back of his hand; he knew every rolling hill, every glimmering stream to the port cities of Spain. The contrast of Santiago from then and now is very…show more content…
Santiago first realized this when the Alchemist said, “ ‘You don’t even have to understand the desert: all you have to do is contemplate a simple grain of sand, and you will see in it all the marvels of creation…Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World…’” (Coelho 138). Santiago learned that the heart knew of the Soul of the World and the language of the world; it was to first be felt by the heart and then understood by the mind. By simply observing the grain of sand, Santiago learned that what created the simple sand was the same hand that created himself and everything around it. Here, Santiago realized that everything is connected as it is created by the same hand. Santiago grew because, by once realizing this, he was able to communicate with the wind, desert, and sun, which is also the Soul of the World that saved his life. Another example is when Santiago fell in love with Fatima. “It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travel through endless time… she recognized the same thing (Coelho 97). The greatest lesson Santiago learned in his journey. Santiago saw the language of the world firsthand when love transcended the religious and language barriers between them. Fatima and Santiago were living thousands of miles apart until the moment Santiago stopped at a oasis and
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