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The Alchemist

Symbols and People

Daniel Zhao

on 2 December 2013

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Transcript of The Alchemist

By: Daniel Zhao, Chris Chan,
Ryan Wilson and Eric Fung
“Because it’s the thought of Mecca that keeps me alive. That’s what helps me face these days that are all the same, these mute crystals on the shelves, and lunch and dinner at that same horrible café. I’m afraid that if my dream is realized, I’ll have no reason to go on living” (Coelho, 57).
This quote shows how the crystal merchant feels about the path he had chosen.
“You brought new feeling into my crystal shop, but you know I’m not going to Mecca. Just as you know that you’re not going to buy your sheep” (Coelho, 63).
This quote portrays the different paths these characters have already chosen. Once they have chosen their path, it would be hard to turn back.
Mecca symbolizes the different
paths a person could choose in life,
with fear and gratification
acting as the borderlines of the two paths.
Whereas Santiago feels the need to realize his
Personal Legend and get to the pyramids,
the crystal merchant fears pursuing his own
dream to make a pilgrimage to Mecca because
he worries he will have nothing to
live for afterward.
Santiago learns from Mecca the importance of following your dreams and expanding your possibilities.
Mecca also teaches Santiago that in order to achieve greater success, you must risk what you have.
The lessons I learned from Mecca is to always work toward your goal and never give up.
If you restrain yourself in the comfort zone, you will not achieve success.
Emerald Tablet
“The Emerald Tablet is a direct passage to the Soul of the World” (Coelho, 128).
He learns that he cannot pursue his Personal Legend by learning but he can pursue his Personal Legend through action. It teaches us that when you want to accomplish something, you shouldn’t really worry much about the outcome of it, but be aware of the little things while you’re in the process of accomplishing it.
Santiago learned that in order to understand the foreign codes written on the Emerald Tablet, he needed to be able to understand the language of the world . The Emerald Tablet is a representation of the knowledge that all things are one.
“God created the world so that, through its visible objects, men could understand his spiritual teachings and the marvels of his wisdom" (Coelho, 128).
The Englishman is a rich, well educated, anti-social type of person who has a clearer understanding of the world than most people. He is seeking help from an Alchemist that would guide him and teach him towards the Master Work.

The Englishmen symbolizes hard work and determination, he has learned multiple religions and languages and has “Ten years at the university” (Coelho, 67). Unlike the Englishman, Santiago has had less education but more experience with life but also worked hard in pursuit of his personal legend.
Santiago learned from the Englishman that you need to work hard and be persistent in order to achieve your personal legend and everyone has their own way of learning. The Englishman prefers books while he prefers experience.
The Englishman said “It’s only those who are persistent and willing to study things deeply, who achieve the Master Work” (Coelho, 84). This teaches Santiago to seek his own way of learning and that there are not right or wrong ways of learning. Santiago uses what he learned to understand the world a little bit better and find his own way of learning. This teaches us to find our own way of learning but take other’s people ways into consideration.
Full transcript