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A Reflection on The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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Alchemist is novel on the struggle of a young Andalusian shepherd named, Santiago, written by Paulo Coelho, a Brazilian author, in 1987 and published in 1988. The constant theme in The Alchemist is to pursue your dreams by following what your heart desires. This book was written in only two weeks and remained bestseller book. It was basically written in Portuguese and later on translated in 88 different languages. The novel is not so long and a person with basic knowledge of that language can understand and grasp this book easily. The interesting thing in this book is that the view point of author about the different topics of the world. In this book, a reader come to know that how much knowledge has the author about various sensitive or non-sensitive topics of the world including very much information about different religions and the writer also explained the values and traditions of different societies. He has vast research on all the topics which are included in this very book. The writer uses informal language in this novel so that a reader can easily understand the viewpoint of the author. In some-places, the writer used some parables also but overall the language of novel is easy. This novel basically represented the 20th century. This novel bases on the basic viewpoint of Sufism that the main thing of human being is its soul. It is the biggest treasure of human being. In the presence of this treasure, there is nothing which man have to find.

The main character of the novel is Santiago who is a shepherd. He haunted in the meadows of Andalusia with his sheep. He had no aim in life. He loved book reading and often narrated various stories to their sheep. From last few days, he was thinking about the girl who was the daughter of the merchant. Once he met this very merchant for some business. So there he met to the daughter of the merchant. Now after one year he was again going to that merchant and Santiago was worried about the future. He didn’t know what have or will have happened. He was very much interested in that girl. He also told about the girl to his sheep.

His father wanted that his child would be a father in church. But his son was fond of travelling. Both of their aims countered to each other. After that, child won and father had accepted lose. He became a shepherd to travel across the world because on that spot only shepherd has the opportunity to travel in the world. He was on the way to meet that girl. Many thoughts were in their mind like a blaze. He had a jacket and book and after completion of the book he replaced his book with new one. He saw a dream multiple time that he found treasure in cubical pyramid of Egypt and became curious of that dream. He went to palmist in that village for questioning about that dream. The palmist told him that if he goes to pyramid, he will find the treasure. The palmist placed a condition that you have to give ten percent of your treasure to me as my payment. The shepherd agreed to that term with no excuse. He went back and sits in a grassland and began to read a book.

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

After sometimes, an aged person sat behind it with very odd behavior and questioned him about surrounding. The boy disturbed badly and wants that he would leave him alone. But the old man didn’t want. The old man showered the question on the boy. This irritated the boy. The old man shocked the boy by giving him lot of information about the book which was reading by the boy. The old man gave him some information about him and he told the boy he was king of ‘Salem’. The old man offered the boy to give him one tenth of his sheep and in the result he will tell you about the hidden treasure. Then the old man impressed the boy by some tricks. He gave the one tenth of his sheep to the old man and rest of sheep are given to his friend. The old man told him that the treasure was near the pyramid in the Egypt and the old man tell him to follow the omens. The old man gave him two stones ‘Urim’ and ‘Thumium’ to take the decisions. After giving him some pieces of advices, the old man went away. He also had a view point:

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

The boy was, now, in the bar of Africa. He seems that the Africa was very strange. The sale of his sheep had left him with enough money in his pouch, and the boy knew that in money there was magic; whoever has money is never really alone. Before long, maybe in just a few days, he would be at the Pyramids. An old man, with a breastplate of gold, wouldn’t have lied just to acquire six sheep. The shepherd was looted there by a Spanish man. He left there alone with nothing. He even didn’t cry. Now in his pouch, he only had two stones. After watching that, he felt relieved. He spent the night in the middle of the market of that city. He was being awaken by someone with a kick. He stood up and began to walk in the market. The merchants are assembling their goods. He began to help a man of candy shop in the reward of it the candy merchant gave him candy to eat. Then he reached at a crystals shop. He took the allowance to clean the shop of crystal. The boy said in the result of it you should have to give me some food to eat. As long as he started working two buyer entered in the shop. After they ate food. He began to work in the crystal shop permanently. So that he could again get his herd. The boy gave the merchant some tips about marketing, in this way, his marketing increases. The merchant talked about his dream in life and boy also talked about his dream that he wanted to go to pyramid. The merchant wanted to go to Mecca.

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

The boy had been working in the crystal shop for month. Because of the boy tips the sale of the shop increased sky high. He worked hard so that he got more money to go to pyramid. After eleven months in Tangier, he began to plan move from here. Because he has enough money to buy 120 sheep and in addition he also bought the ticket for return. He said good-bye to crystal merchant and continued his journey towards Egypt. He began to move forward with a caravan. Along with him, there was an English who is interested in alchemy. Both of them talked to one another and shared the experience of their lives. Their journey to reach the Egypt through a desert had started. There was a strange fear of desert.

There was a tribal war in the desert. So the journey became dangerous. Now they are walking at night. At last they reached the safe point of desert. They began to explore different things. At one day, he met with a girl named Fatima. The boy began to involve in that girl. He himself did not know why he was so interested in that girl. He talked her. From this love he learned so much. The universal language was exploring on him, i.e. love. He began to talk with some tribal presidents of the desert and shared his experience about the desert. He faced an adventure there. His life was on danger because he had said a bit wrong to the tribal chiefs.

In the desert, they met with an alchemist who know the knowledge of converting the simple thing into gold. He had a trick to live as long as you want. His own age was also almost two hundred years. After this the boy and alchemist planned to travel along each other in the desert. Both of them shared their experience with each other. They continuously covering desert. They also faced some troubles in the desert because there was a tribal war in the desert. Alchemist also gave the boy very tough time and struck his life once. But the boy faced all the problems eloquently. At the distance of three hours from the pyramid, the alchemist left him alone and asked him to travel his remaining journey alone. He met with a Raheb (monk). There alchemist perform the experiment how to change the simple thing in a gold. Alchemist divided the piece of gold into four equal parts one gave to the Raheb (monk) and other to the boy and one with him, and also gave the fourth piece to Rahab for the boy. Alchemist said the boy:

“Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.”

The boy began to walk towards pyramid and continued his journey. Now he was near the treasure. He began to dig the earth. Suddenly he heard the sound of someone, “what are you doing?” He terrified after listening this sound. The newcomer began to thrash the boy badly. After this they leave the boy alone. One of them talked about the pyramid which are in Andalusia. Then he returned to home back and was happy that he explored very much to himself.

As it is said the main character is Santiago who faced various problems during his journey nut he kept calm. It shows that the Santiago was very determined and ambitious to do the things by the heart. The main character also shows the determination. That we should not give up after one failure. We should have to move forward until and unless we may succeed. In life there are many challenge but only those win who are determined and ambitious. Only those persons can win the race of life who did not give up. In this very novel, this is explaining that life is not the bed of roses. We should have to take the risks if we want to succeed. The main plot of the book is on self-determination but after reading this book you have a knowledge about the life of desert that the life of desert is full of challenges.

Although this book is written in past but it has the moral lesson for all the times. It is in the book of read before death. There is nothing in this book which shows that the magical world. All the happenings are understandable and can be occurred in real life. The main thing is that how much one is ambitious about his goal. All the happenings are almost realistic. The author has the complete overview of the life of desert and he also knew about the religion deeply. He also knew the traditions of the desert people.

I think this book is including in books of read before death. The reader who wants to do the things and make a name in history but they are afraid of the failure can read the book and it will have a positive effect on them. The main thing is that what the author is thinking. Some opinions are also there which are objectionable. As author uses the religion. He should not use this because by using this there is a sense of hat-ness in the mind of reader. The writer should have to avoid this. I will give the writer the more grades about this book because this book is enough for change the perception of anyone. The main thing is that I learnt from this book is that we should have ambitious about our aims. Sooner or later we will win or succeed.

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A Reflection On The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho. (2022, January 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 24, 2022, from
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