Journey of a Young Shepherd Boy Santiago in “The Alchemist”

In the novel The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho shows the journey of a young shepherd boy named Santiago who is determined to fulfill his Personal Legend, which is to find a hidden treasure. Learning life lessons along the way Santiago starts realizes the importance of listening to his heart. The theme of the book is to listen to one’s heart and not be afraid to take risks.

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In The Alchemist the author shows those who chose to follow their dreams and those who chose to ignore them. Santiago in the beginning of the story sells his sheep to get money for a trip to Africa to pursue his dreams. Although there was some bumps along the way, like Santiago getting robbed twice, he still managed to keep his mind on his goal. I believe Coelho is trying to encourage everyone to follow their own dreams as well and believe in their hopes.

Even though Santiago desires to fulfill his personal legend it is evident he is also dejected that once he completes his quest to find the treasure that he has been dreaming about for two days he will no longer have a goal and anything to do with his life. Santiago shares this thought when he is talking to the merchant and he says, “” I’m afraid that if my dream is realized, I’ll have no reason to go on living”” (Coelho 55). Part of what keeps Santiago motivated and productive is the fact that he has a plan right after he accomplished his ultimate dream. Santiago finds the treasure afterall at the end and continues to go on and going after Fatima.

At the start of the novel Santiago has a reoccuring dream and once he is told what it signifies he does not know what to do with the information. As he is describing his dream to a Gypsy he says that there is a child that appears and tells Santiago, “” ‘If you come here, you will find a treasure.’ And, just as she was about to show me the exact location, I woke up. Both times.”” (Coelho 12-13)

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