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Annayah Usman

on 21 September 2013

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Transcript of THE ALCHEMIST

Various Covers
Who's the guy?
Paulo Coelho ( 1947- )is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. He has become one of the most widely read authors in the world today. He is the recipient of many awards too.
" Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience."
Science Fiction
I thought of that because the words 'alchemy' and 'alchemist' include the word chemist which reminded me of chemistry which proves to be the power leading to immortality but (can be) but is yet not quite possible.
This story definitely is an adventure for this boy as well as the readers. Because no one's parents just allow their child to travel alone to the Pyramids and no one just gets a chance to go there because of a dream ! And this adventure teaches the boy a lot about life, people, omens/luck, fate, the world, himself, the desert, the Soul of the World and the Universal Language. Not only does is teach him that but it evens allows the exposure of some of ones emotions and feelings (which are similar to the boys' and author, well, mine was!)
Theoretical Fiction
This was something new for me, becuase I had never heard of this term before. Well, after reading about what it meant, I understood what connection it had with the book. Its basically how theorists of fiction study the relationships between the 'real' and the fiction/'imaginary' world. This can be seen in the book a couple of times, fore.g. when Santiago talks to the wind, how he compares the beetle with the digging, the eagle, etc.
Because no one by the name of Melchizidek, King of Salem exists nor does anyone like Santiago, except for in this book. But the lesson of following your dreams and heart is definitely true and does exist in many people's hearts.
First Publication
The book was first published in 1988 by HarperTorch. It was originally written in Portugese and it was published in English in 1993.
Selfishness- This story includes many aspects where not only Santiago but many other characters become selfish. For e.g. the Englishman was a bit selfish in terms of finding the alchemist, he was kind of using the boy to make the job of finding the alchemist easier. One point for Santiago can be, that he wanted to get the treasure that meant the had to leave his home and not become a priest which his family obviously didn't want but to get something you really desire at any cost you have become selfish and move ahead.
Fate-- Here is this book fate is written as Maktub which the merchant says is written and everything that happens, that we pursue that we don't happens because of this. For e.g. it was not in his fate, so the crystal merchant didn't go to Makkah although he desired a lot.
Dreams-- It is one big part of this, in fact it is the reason why this book has been written. Its because the of the dream that triggered Santiago to go on for an adventure and the story's lesson is to follow our dreams.
Omens-- These become a huge part of Santiago's life because they guide him to making a decision and when Santiago doesn't know what to do he can take help from nature to take him to a random way which can prove successful.
Santiago's sheep play a symbol in the sense that it represents the love Santiago has for them. I fit wasn't for them, we might have not known what Santiago actually feels for them besides some animals which he has to feed everyday.
The wind represents that there are no limitations and you are free to do anything, be anything and find anything.
One foreshadowing is when Santiago has another dream and that dream tell him that his treasure is actually not where he was thinking but it was under the very same tree where he had the dream.
The meeting with the Gypsy woman is also a foreshadowing event that it help us to understand what the book is going to be about and what journey is going to take flight in the boy's life.
I think that the money being stolen from Santiago outside the bar also is a foreshadowing event becuase due to this we can predict what will happen next in Santiago's journey or we can just assume.
My honest P.O.V on The Alchemist
By AnnayahUsman 8b
This book has been published in 56 languages worldwide but, originally, it was published in Portugese.
The protagonist in this story is
definitely Santiago. He is the
main character in the story
where he portrayed as being
ambitious, deceptive, emotional,
at times, selfish and also with
the want to learn.
When I read this book, it always makes me think that the book ha ancient and has many old ways of doing things in it. Alchemy, seems to me, like an old way of gaining immortality. Caravans and wars in a desert is all old! But this book is written in extreme detail, from the church to stones, eagles, Soul of the World, etc.
When you read this book, it feels as if the author is in the book and is seeing everything happen. But its not really a true story, so maybe there is someone who is watching and is actually a part of this journey, but we don't know who he/she is. Maybe, that was the purpose of writing this book so that the readers can actually feel the thoughts and emotions of the characters and become a part of the whole story.
This book is written in past tense.
[time] This book has obviously been written in the past when nothing like cars or technology was ever heard of. People only relied on facts and books. Well, if we talk about the times of the day in the book, then there were many and were described with pretty much detail including all animals, plants, wind, the atmosphere, everything around the characters either if it was day, afternoon, evening or the night.
[place(s)] The main settings in the book are the fields and pastures of Andalusia. The cities of Tarifa and Tangier, the desert where he meets Fatima and the war takes place and the Pyramids.
All these settings have changed Santiago's life by giving him a different and better personality and giving a chance to meet Fatima and the Alchemist.
Santiago wants to find his treasure but can't seem to understand where his treasure, actually, is? Has he found it but he can't see it, has he not found it?, is the treasure already in his possession all along from the beginning and this was for nothing!? Or is Fatima his treasure? He is confused between the treasure he desires and the treasure he already possesses.
I mean, there's always a pressure on you of yourself when you just get up one day and decide to go from one continent to the other because of a dream! You don't know whether you'll reach their alive or dead, and you don't even know if you'll get the treasure or not. So you have to be really careful in understanding what and where your treasure is.
There are many antagonist's in this book , some which only act as a force to prevent Santiago from getting closer to his goal but there are some people who create that force which include Santiago himself. For e.g. the Gypsy woman who comes in the beginning is a antagonist for Santiago because she was telling him what he already knew and along with that demanded Santiago to give her 1/10 of his treasure which became annoying for the boy. The other antagonist is the thief who stole all the money from Santiago which was Santiago's fault as well which (from my P.O.V.) that he trusted someone he didn't know a speck about and he took the risk of giving the money to him thus, creating an obstacle for himself.
Rising Action
At many points, this story takes a twist. To make the twist happen, the boy had to make many sacrifices, he had to give up many things and sometime he even gave up but he was then given the strength to go ahead. For e.g., he needed money to go closer to his treasure so he had no option but to sell his sheep because of which he realized the attachment he had with them and neither could both of them live without each other but you know what they say, you always have to move ON. Just like this, there have been many incidents that have caused our minds to divert and to assume many things that are about to happen in the story ahead.
Falling Action
Now the action that enters in the end was very stupid! He has come all the way from Andalusia to the Pyramids and now finds out that the treasure lies in the abandoned church from where he began his whole journey! I mean, then what's the use of this whole journey and whole book! But nevertheless, the experience was worthy and it helped Santiago to start a new beginning as a total different person and to live a good life with Fatima.
The desert which includes all the winds, sun and eagle and Fatima is a barren and harsh place where one can hardly live, shows that if anyone wants to achieve something really badly, he can do anything to get it even if he doesn't surely know if he will or not.
This book seemed to be really interesting when I started reading it and this was the first time I had ever read a novel or any book in such thought and depth. But it was a good one till he met Fatima. I was a bit surprised how Santiago could fall in love with a stranger instantly without even seeing her face (well, Ms. already answered that) but when he actually proved that he was in love with her, I thought of him as a flirt. First, the merchant's daughter and now her! But that wasn't so important, more important was when everyonene got to know that Santiago's treasure was under the same sycamore from where he dreamt about the treasure. This all seemed for no reason and now he had to go back from where he started and then he had to find the treasure. But this even made me think that the book made him start from a new beginning with a new wife with some new treasure and some GREAT experience!
This story exposes a lot of fear of many characters. For e.g. Santiago was afraid to meet the Gypsy woman due to his childhood rumors, he was afraid that he would die in battle but he wasn't afraid when he was giving his money to the thief! This also shows the fear of the crystal merchant that if he performs pilgrimage, he would have nothing to do or pursue in the rest of his life so his life would be useless. But all of this also teaches us that we should always try and overcome our fears just like Santiago did when meeting the Gypsy woman.
Wasn't my favorite part but had to. So I think that love is also a major theme here because Santiago throughout the whole journey seems incomplete without love. As he tells in the beginning, he needs someone in his life to whom he can talk to about everything and anything and that listener can understand and feel his happiness or sadness. Which he first wanted to be the merchant's daughter but eventually it was Fatima.
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