Essays on The Alchemist

The Alchemist
Original title The Alchemist
Author Paulo Coelho

Quest, Adventure, Fantasy

Language Portuguese
Characters Santiago, The alchemist, The Englishman, Fatima, The tribal chieftain, The alchemist's apprentice
Published 1988
ISBN 978-0-06-231520-4
Book Summary
Essay Examples

Table of Contents

The Alchemist summary

The Alchemist is a novel about self-discovery and following your dreams. The protagonist, Santiago (a shepherd boy), travels from Spain to Egypt in search of treasure buried under the pyramids. Along the way, he learns important lessons about love and friendship while dealing with adversity—all while trying to achieve his Personal Legend (which is also known as one’s “calling”).

In the beginning of the book, we see a shepherd boy named Santiago dreaming about a buried treasure in Egypt. He’s ignored by his family because they don’t believe him, but he ignores them and sets off on his journey to find this treasure.

The main character, Santiago, travels from Spain to Egypt in pursuit of his Personal Legend.

The main character, Santiago, travels from Spain to Egypt in pursuit of his Personal Legend. He is a shepherd and his Personal Legend is to travel to Egypt and find treasure. This is a metaphor for finding your own happiness and purpose in life.

When you reach the right mindset, anything becomes possible.

Santiago experiences both good and bad fortune along the way.

As you continue your journey, you will experience both good fortune and bad. You will meet kings, receive signs from the universe, and find treasure—this is good fortune. However, you will also be robbed and beaten by thieves—this is bad fortune.

Good fortune tells Santiago that he should continue his quest for treasure despite all obstacles because the universe is on his side. Bad fortune teaches him to appreciate what he has because it could easily have been taken away from him at any moment by robbers or other bad forces in the world.

Ultimately though, good fortune prevails when Santiago finally finds his treasure: wisdom (the meaning of life).

Sometimes he has to work hard for his treasure.

You may think that Santiago finds his treasure easily, but it is not so. He has to overcome many obstacles along the way.

He has to work hard for his treasure. He has to do things he doesn’t want to do, like work at a factory or even become a shepherd again. And he must be patient and willing to take risks if he wants his dream of finding the treasure of Personal Legend to come true.

Sometimes the Universe helps him find his treasure.

The alchemist’s daughter is a symbol of Santiago’s Personal Legend, his soul mate and also his treasure. In other words, she represents all three of the things that Santiago is seeking on his journey to fulfillment.

When Fatima first meets him she says, “I am the soul mate you’ve been looking for.” She later tells him that they should get married and be together forever. This leads us to believe that she is the one who will help Santiago achieve his Personal Legend and keep him from losing hope during times of tribulation.

The Soul of the World helps him on his way.

The Soul of the World is a metaphor for the universe. It’s a big place, and it has many ways to help you on your journey. The Soul of the World is not a person, but it does have many forces at work within itself that can guide you through life and help you find your treasure.

The universe is like a great wheel where everything fits together perfectly. The alchemist will learn how to harness this energy through his own faith and belief in himself, and he will use his newfound power to heal others while earning money so that he can continue on his search for immortality.

By staying true to himself, Santiago is rewarded with enormous wealth at the end of his journey.

The Alchemist is a book about self-discovery and the true meaning of happiness. Santiago, the protagonist, spends most of his life searching for treasure in other places. He goes on a journey to discover his Personal Legend—a term that refers to a person’s unique calling or purpose in life.

Santiago starts out as a digger and learns how to use his digging skills to find gold. He eventually uses these skills to become wealthy and then travels around Spain with his wife, Fatima. After she dies, he explores the world looking for something more than money or material possessions can provide him with. This leads him back home where he meets an enigmatic figure who shows him how important it is for him to follow his heart instead of always chasing after wealth like so many others do when they set out on their own quests for personal fulfillment (or what’s known as “The Road”).

If you pursue what you’re passionate about, you will be rewarded.

If you pursue what you’re passionate about, you will be rewarded.

The Alchemist teaches us a few key things:

  1. We must follow our Personal Legends and not the expectations of others;

  2. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, but they lead to new possibilities;

  3. Our past experiences shape who we are and how we see the world;

  4. Our culture dictates how we interact with others, and sometimes that leaves us feeling lonely or disconnected from those around us;

  5. It’s important to live in the present moment without worrying about tomorrow because it will come regardless of what we do now.


After two weeks of hard work, Santiago and the alchemist arrive at their destination. The boy goes to work in the mines while the older man travels around looking for answers. Eventually, they meet up again and tell each other what they found in their journeys; when they’re done, they realize that they’ve both been on the same path all along—they just didn’t know it until now because fate had brought them together at this exact moment!

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