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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Transcript of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
By: Denzel Acheampong
This book was slightly difficult to understand and sometimes makes me think too hard about life at certain parts of the story but overall I think this book is worth reading and quite entertaining overall. This book would be extremely good for anyone having a difficult time choosing what path to take in life.
Santiago's name is only said once in the very beginning of the book and is introduced as a shepherd with 60 sheep. Once Santiago meets a king he decides to pursue his Personal Legend, or his goal in life. Santiago is 16-years-old at the beginning of the book and is a Spanish boy. He tries to learn from everything he can like the desert or his sheep. He also has brown hair and is at average height.
The conflict in the story happens to be a man vs. self conflict in certain parts and a man vs. man conflict at other parts. The only true man vs. man conflicts are one's where Santiago needs to perform to keep himself alive. The man vs. self conflicts happen when Santiago is deciding whether he should continue with his journey or not. Fortunately, this problem is resolved early in the story when Santiago tells himself that even if he fails he can always go back to being a shepherd and if he died during the adventure he would die on a quest to realize his Personal Legend. Up until the end, the main conflict is Santiago trying to reach his treasure by finding out where it is.
In this book barely any of the supporting characters are named and are usually called something like the alchemist or the fortune teller. All of the supporting characters meet Santiago at some point in his journey and most of them try to help him with it in some way, shape, or form. Barely any of the supporting characters appearances, or personalities are given either.
Supporting Character #1
The first major supporting character mentioned in the story is the fortune teller. The fortune teller is the one that starts Santiago off on his journey. Santiago goes to the fortune teller to ask about his life in the future when he is going to meet a merchant and his daughter. Unfortunately for Santiago, the fortune teller is a Gypsy and asks for one tenth of his treasure once he returns from his journey. The fortune teller is a very tricky woman to work with.
In Part 2 of the book Santiago heads to North Africa and experiences the Arabian culture. He also ages and works at a crystal shop for a year after being robbed by another Spaniard. Its his personality and ambitions that keep him going even after all of the unfortunate things that happened to him.
Why Santiago's Personality Changes the Story
Had Santiago not have been a calm person or a shepherd he might have not met the king because the king told Santiago at one point that he knew shepherds appreciated kings the most. Santiago's ability to read omens and communicate with the Soul of the World also help him in his journey because it makes sure that he never truly strays away from his Personal Legend.
The Alchemist is a book that takes course over about 3-5 years. Throughout the book Santiago, the main character, ends up becoming an Alchemist without even really noticing it until he's put to a test. The book is divided into two major parts. One part is about the boys life as a shepherd in Spain and the second is about his life in Egypt and Northern Africa. This is when the boy becomes an alchemist and it's when he takes the journey to realize his Personal Legend.
Supporting Character #2
The second supporting Character in the story turns out to be a king named Melchizedek. This king seems to have supernatural powers and claims to always be there when someone is truly trying to accomplish their Personal Legend, or their goal in life. This man meets Santiago near a market and starts speaking to him. The king gives Santiago Urim and Thummim to help him on his journey to Egypt. Melchizedek is a very tall and wise man.
Supporting Character #3
The third supporting character mentioned in the book is the alchemist. The alchemist's name was never mentioned throughout the entire book and he was always referred to as the alchemist. He meets Santiago first testing him and pretending to want to kill him. The alchemist is able to transform lead or any other metal into gold and he can also do supernatural things like speak to the Soul of the World or transform himself into the wind. The alchemist's greatest feat is probably being able to survive for 200 years.
Supporting Character #4
The last supporting character in the book is Fatima. Fatima falls in love with Santiago and Santiago falls in love with Fatima when they first see each other. Fatima's only true role in the story is to motivate Santiago to see his Personal Legend completed. Santiago leaves Fatima in the desert because Fatima claims she is a desert woman and will wait for her man to come back to her.
The Alchemist takes place all over Spain and northern Africa. In the beginning, Santiago is roaming the Andalusian fields with his sheep. Santiago later goes to a place in Northern Africa. Here, he is robbed and must work at a crystal shop fro a year. Next, he travels across the Sahara and then to Egypt to realize his Personal Legend. After Santiago sees the Great Pyramids of Egypt he goes back to Spain and fulfills his Personal Legend. This book most likely took place during the beginning or the end of medieval times. The book goes over the course of about 2-6 years.
Some of the themes in the book are knowledge and understanding because they help Santiago get through his journey.
But the universal theme in the book is probably the one that's repeated many times in the book saying that, "When someone wants something really badly, all of the universe conspires in helping that person see through to it."
Part 1 one of The Alchemist starts when Santiago is finding a place to sleep during his journey to see a merchant and his daughter. He chooses a church to sleep at which becomes very important at the end of the book. While traveling he decides to see a fortune teller to see what she says about Santiago's fate with the merchant's daughter. The fortune teller, unfortunately for Santiago, is a Gypsy and tells Santiago that one day he'll find treasure and when he does, he must pay her one tenth of his treasure. After Santiago leaves, he meets a king on the streets, that goes by the name of Melchizedek. Melchizedek helps Santiago with his goal of finding treasure and gives him two stones, Urim and Thummim to help him on his journey to North Africa. These stones are said to interpret omens.
Part 2 of The Alchemist begins when Santiago reaches North Africa and goes into a bar. In the bar, Santiago hears languages that he's never heard and feels like a stranger in a strange land until a Spanish man approaches him and starts speaking Spanish to him. The man realizes that Santiago is a foreigner and wants to show him around. When Santiago and his new friend are about to leave the bar, the bartender yells angrily at Santiago. This is when the man tells Santiago that there are many thieves in North Africa. The two soon go to a marketplace and Santiago sees a sword that he likes. When he turns around, Santiago's new friend runs off with Santiago's money and he soon realizes that he had been robbed. Not too long after the event Santiago begins working at a crystal shop for a year to make up for the stolen money. Once he has his money, Santiago joins a caravan with an Englishman and head to an oasis because of the tribal wars going on. Santiago meets the alchemist one day because he knew of Santiago's ability to interpret omens.
Part 2 Continued
The alchemist and Santiago soon travel through the desert and are eventually caught by tribesmen. This is where Santiago must prove that he is an alchemist and turn himself into the wind so that he can leave. After he successfully does it, Santiago says bye to the alchemist and gets beaten up and robbed a third time by some other tribesmen.
One of the tribesmen told Santiago about a recurrent dream that he had about a sycamore tree and a church in the fields of Andalusia in Spain. Once the tribesmen leave Santiago begins laughing with joy because he know knew where his treasure was. After Santiago finds his treasure he pays the Gypsy woman and continues with his life.
Web. 29 May 2015. <http://www.santjordi-asociados.com/sites/default/files/alchemist586.jpg>.
Web. 29 May 2015. <http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2011/235/c/0/the_alchemist_2_by_paper_hero-d47n0gl.jpg>.
"Paulo Coelho." Amazon.com: : Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle. Web. 31 May 2015. <http://www.amazon.com/Paulo-Coelho/e/B000AQ3HB8>.
Web. 31 May 2015. <http://www.qsl.net/w5www/pyramid.jpg>.
About the Author
Paulo Coelho is considered to be a very influential author. His books have sold over 165 million copies worldwide and have been translated in over 80 languages. Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947. He has worked as an actor, writer (for songs and books), and journalist.
His book The Alchemist barely sold any copies at first but later on became one of his most sold books.