The Alchemist Identity Essay

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Searching for Identity in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and The Fifth Mountain
The 20th century was an era of utmost chaos and confusion. The aftershocks of both the World Wars and independence struggles have been such that the political and religious foundations of the entire world have been shaken up. As a consequence the battle which was once fought at the war front is now being fought within the psyche of each isolated modern individual. Individuality is the unique selling proposition of the modern society and to have individuality it is crucial to have an identity first. This paper deals with the two works of Paulo Coelho, namely The Alchemist and The Fifth Mountain because they not only bring forth the conflict between the individual
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Pulled down by love: Once a person has the courage to know his dream or calling, his love for others obstruct his path. This is so at times we give our dream due to our fear of hurting our loved ones. What we don’t understand is that “love is just a further impetus, not something that will prevent us going forward”. (author’s note, Alchemist) Those who genuinely care and love would never hold us back instead they would move forward with us.
3. Fear of defeats: Those who follow their dreams suffer far more than others because when they fail continuously, they can’t make the excuses such as ‘I didn’t want it anyway’. They know that they want to actualize their dreams and their path will not be easier than any other path they could follow. The warriors of light, as Paulo calls them, are prepared to be patient and let the Soul of the World conspire in their favor.
4. The fear of realizing the dream: After accepting our Personal Calling, utilizing the nurturing power of love and spending many years with the scars of failure, we notice that what we have always wanted is right there in front of our eyes. Instead of going forward with it, we are filled with the guilt of achieving our dreams because around us we see others who have given up after giving such a tough fight. We don’t see ourselves worthy of the fruit of our struggle. As a result, we commit a series of impractical mistakes and never reach our goal when it is only one step away. Oscar Wilde rightly said “Each man kills the thing he

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