The Alchemist and the Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho

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The Alchemist and the Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho

This essay will compare Paulo Coelho’s novels “The Alchemist” and “The Pilgrimage.” It will discuss common themes such as the journey towards self-discovery, spirituality, and the pursuit of one’s personal legend. The piece will analyze the narrative styles, character development, and the philosophical messages conveyed in both books. Moreover, at PapersOwl, there are additional free essay samples connected to Novel.

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Literature is the mirror of the society. Literature writers always reflect the social, economic, political and cultural realities in the society and captures the same is their artistic expressions. It is on this basis the literature is the mirror of the society. Paulo Coelho in the novel The Alchemist and The Pilgrimage fundamentally offers inspiration to people to always follow their dream regardless of the circumstances that they go through. The Alchemist and The Pilgrimage are a compelling novels by Paulo Coelho as he raises fundamental issues that are prevalent in society.

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The books by Paulo Coelho is s compelling fable that describes the experiences of the protagonist Santiago as he travels from his home in Spain to Egypt in search of a hidden treasure. In the course of his journey he comes across a beautiful woman, a king as well as an alchemist who influence his life in tremendous ways. The main theme advocated by Paulo Coelho in the novel The Alchemist as well as The Pilgrimage is the importance of listening to your heart and following ones dreams.


At the beginning of the novel, The Alchemist Santiago does not know what he should do when he is confronted by his dream, however as the novel progresses Santiago is influenced to religiously follow his heart to guide his all through his life (Coelho 57). It is evident from the novel that each hurdle and obstacle the protagonist faces in his journey, it offer his a lesson to learn from. The novel introduces the readers to exotic places as well as intriguing events that are tailored towards uniting both the East and the West. It is evident as portrayed in the text The Alchemist that each individual has a destiny and it is important for everyone to discover their destiny through following their dreams. The novelist captures the contrasting experiences between the East and the West. He farther raises fundamental issues on the effect of cultural differences inherent among the people.

The events in the novel are of great appeal to the readers especially in the way the protagonist is determined to realize his dreams. The writer uses vivid description and compelling dialogues in challenging the readers thinking on the necessity to embrace what the heart wants you to do. The author has managed in merging the elements of spirituality in the adventures that are taken by the protagonist and the various characters he meets on his journey to Egypt. Santiago, the protagonist in the books has to pursue his dream out of his familiar territory of Spanish setting and goes into North Africa. His determination is enviable. He is determined to search for his treasures by use of any available means at this disposal. However, it becomes evident later on in the novel that there were other compelling reasons that pushed him to venture into the wilderness.

The author in The Alchemist creates and equally cultivates curiosity among the readers and employs dilemma quite effectively as he reveals the efforts of Santiago, the protagonist, in pursuing some hidden treasures. The readers are left wondering whether his decision to venture into unknown land is driven by his dream and the desire to understand his destiny. It is interesting to note that despite the harsh experiences the Santiago goes through, he is determined to realize his ambition no matter the consequences. The journey to North Africa leads him into the dessert where he finds an oasis, meets his mentor and gains a personal insight by discovering his inner strength as he endeavors to connect with the world around himself. What is interesting about the techniques that the novelist has employed is the use of personal reflection as brought out through vivid description. We witness Santiago listening to his heart and gets more determined to pursue his goal in life. The element of love is equally quite effective in shaping the life of individual. When Santiago comes into contact with Alchemist and other new friends, Santiago realizes that true love has the potential to push an individual towards their dreams.

The plot of the story The Alchemist is quite cohesive, the authors argues that the world has plenty of opportunities for every person. The novelist appropriately uses the philosophy of the West to create optimism among the people that everything is possible in the world. It is evident from the novel The Alchemist that it promotes the attitudes of the eastern mysticism. Santiago, the protagonist moves around with determination to search for his hidden treasure. He goes through a plethora of experiences that teaches him lessons about the power of nature.

The western appeals are equally epitomized in the story The Alchemist. Fatuma, a beautiful woman comes in contact with Santiago at the oasis.. This reflects the way romance is portrayed in the western world. They spend a good time with each other and the man finally proposes for marriage. This relationship is a typical romantic relationship. The East however intervenes by persuading Santiago to prioritize following his dreams and should not be distracted by anyone or anything is society. It is evident from the novel that it is important to listen to the heart as in most cases; it is usually the voice of God. The experiences that Santiago goes through only reinforce the message that he must always be loyal to his heart no matter how difficult the journey might become (Coelho 23).

The book The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho is a recollection of the author’s personal journey across Spain towards Santiago. It is important to note that the pilgrimage offered a chance to Coelho to rediscover himself and his destiny. It is evident that the experiences that Paulo and his mentor go through in search of the miraculous sword changes their perception about life in ways. They realize that the personal decision people make on the daily basis can positively or negatively affect their future.

The fundamental message capture by Paulo Coelho in The Pilgrimage reiterates the need to overcome fear and champion realization of one’s destiny. The book is characterized by optimism as it challenges people never to lose hope despite the harsh realities that people encounter. One fundamental issues rose in the novel is the fact that society can adversely affect a person towards realization of their goals in life. In order to succeed in life, people should always focus on his or her own journey by disregarding the negative influence from the society. In life we might fail sometimes, but we should not be influenced to give up. Life always extends to us a second chance to rectify where we might have gone wrong. The destination we would want to reach is fundamentally influenced by the dreams we embody in our life.

It is in important to note that The Pilgrimage reflects the thematic concern as showcased in Paulo Coelho other novel The Alchemist. The two novels are fundamentally the same as they complement each other very well due to the fact that they highlight similar thematic concerns. The Pilgrimage equally echoes the idea of finding one paths in life. The compelling message in the novel is that the extra ordinary achievements people make in life is a culmination of the small things they do every day.

The Pilgrimage is therefore journey towards self discovery. The book is a combination of enchantment as well as insight that have far reaching moral lesson on the readers. The story highlights the effort of the novelist Coelho is his endeavor to find the location of his sword that would have guaranteed him a chance in the rank of RAM.. The journey to Spain becomes a pilgrimage to him. He comes to the realization that about the nature of truth through simplicity of life. Additionally, during his epic journey his mentor Petrus introduces him to a plethora of reflection exercises and the western mystical thoughts and philosophy. Coelho learns the importance of love in its various forms such as Eros, philia and agape.


As already indicated, the common theme that is reflected in the two books The Pilgrimage and The Alchemist is searching for a path and meaning in one’s life. The book has religious undertones and emphasizes the role of God in shaping people’s lives. The book reinforces the importance of freeing oneself from issues that would distract a person from accomplishing their goals in life. The choice of words, vivid description and a cohesive plot has effectively been employed in the story The Pilgrimage. In the course of the story, Coelho discovers the secrets of wisdom as well as love and the importance of God who resides in his people. The author equally uses mysticism in an effort t understand humanity and their environment. There is nothing that can stop a person determined to realize their goal in life.

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The Alchemist and The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho. (2019, Jan 24). Retrieved from