Treasure In The Alchemist

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As Santiago ventures to pursue his personal legend, the reader comes to find that the boy’s actual treasure came in the form of spiritual purification by pursuing the Soul of the World. In The Alchemist, a key moral expressed by Paulo Coelho was that one can find spiritual harmony by embarking on a journey in which one follows the path set forth by the omens. Throughout the novel, Santiago goes on an adventure which leads to a greater spiritual understanding of the world around him. Hence, the genuine treasure was that he had purified himself, just like other alchemists had done in the past. To begin with, the boy encounters several key characters during his expedition who all act as omens and guide him to his transcendence. Secondly, the…show more content…
Given his circumstances, he realized that “he was no longer a shepherd, and he had nothing, not even money to return and start everything over” (Coelho, 39). Santiago was so ashamed that he “wanted to cry” (Coelho, 39). However, he did not give up hope. He remarkably responds to this spiritual test by looking to the old man who had taught him to look to Urim and Thummim when he had trouble coming to a decision. After collecting himself, Santiago successfully passes his first psychological challenge realizing that “he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief, or as an adventurer in quest of his treasure” (Coelho, 42). Even though the thief was not necessarily a compassionate character, his role in the novel helps Santiago develop himself tremendously early in the story. Without delay, the boy subsequently bumps into another figure that would help him on his journey to the treasure. The crystal merchant introduces a new point of view when it comes to pursuing one’s personal legend. Taking a brief look at Santiago’s upbringings, the reader finds that the boy is willing to change his overall approach to life if it allows him to pursue his dreams. On the other hand, the merchant stated that…show more content…
Very early in the novel, the boy has an encounter with a Gypsy woman who he would like to interpret a dream for him. Given the history of Gypsies kidnapping children, the boy is quite frightened to be in her room. However, he considered the fact that “she had the Sacred Heart of Jesus…trying to reassure himself” (Coelho, 12). An interesting point to highlight is that a symbol of a divine entity was found in the same place where Santiago was directed to his treasure. This might have been a key hint that the boy would set forth on a spiritual quest. At the end of the novel, the boy remembers this encounter and recognizes that “if he hadn’t believed in the significance of recurrent dreams, he would not have met the Gypsy woman” (Coelho, 165). Furthermore, this may have also foreshadowed the constant challenges that Santiago would face when it came to keeping his faith in God. By the same token, he also experiences a divine encounter with the old man. After analyzing the novel as a whole, this meeting is probably the most obvious example of God’s direct guidance for Santiago. Slightly annoyed at the old man at first, the boy comes to understand the purpose of his presence once he reads what the old man had written in the sand. “The names of his father and his mother and the name of the seminary he had attended. He read the name of the
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