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Transcript of The Alchemist
Explanation of the Obstacles
Tracing Santiago's Journey
Obstacle 1: Santiago overcomes this obstacle by taking The King of Salem's advice. He sells his sheep, briefly works for a crystal merchant which teaches him a lot about himself, and the he sets out on his journey to Egypt to achieve his personal Legend.
Lessons Learned From Each Encounter
The Four Obstacles
Obstacle 1: Not being able to achieve your Personal Legend
Obstacle 2: The Fear of True Love
Obstacle 3: Fear of Failure
Obstacle 4: Guilt of success
1. Not achieving your personal legend
In The Alchemist, you are told at a very young age that it is almost impossible to reach your Personal Legend. In the book, the King of Salem explains to Santiago what the personal legend is, "
It's what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend.
" (Coelho, 21) The king also explains to Santiago that once you know what your Personal Legend is, you are not afraid to go out and dream. He also highlights that mysterious forces get in the way of our dreams and convinces us that it is impossible to realize your Personal Legend. In the story, Santiago faces a lot of obstacles that question his destiny. The King of Salem said, "
when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
" (Coelho, 22) This means that if you have the proper mind set to go out and live your dreams nothing in the world will stop you from getting to do so. The king inspires Santiago to go for his dreams. Although Santiago's parents want him to become a preacher, Santiago prefers to become a perosnal traveller instead which enables him to go out and reach his personal legend. Through this he is able to strive for greatness and he goes on a journey of a lifetime that puts him up to the test.
Fear of Love
Love is one of the obstacles Santiago faces as he has to decide whether to put his journey on hold for the love of his life, Fatima.
You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his personal legend.
" (Coelho, 120) The Alchemist tells Santiago this while he is on his journey. We see in the novel that Santiago is faced with an important decision as he has to choose between his short term relationship with Fatima and his journey to becoming a Personal Legend. This is a major turning point in the story because he is willing to give up everything he's worked extremely hard for just to be with Fatima. The Alchemist explains to him that true love comes with being a personal legend and it does not stand in the way of your dreams. Fatima exemplifies true love because she urges Santiago to continue on his quest to finding his personal legend.
Guilt of Success
Guilt of success is when you feel guilty about achieving your dreams when others haven't. Some may wonder why they are more fortunate and capable of achieving their dreams, so they give up their happiness and success for the sake of others. This is seen in the final obstacle Santiago faces. Santiago finally gets to the pyramid and he begins to dig for his treasure when two men approach him and beat him up. Before they leave, one of the men tells him that he was once in the same position as him and not to believe in those dreams because they are worthless. "
You'll learn that a man shouldn't be so stupid. Two years ago, right here on this spot, I had a reaccurant dream, too. I dreamed that I should travel the fields of Spain and look for a ruined church where shepards and their sheep slept. In my dream there was a sycamore growing out of the ruins of the sacristy, and I was told that, if I dug at the roots of the sycamore I would find a hidden treasure. But I'm not so stupid as to cross an entire dessert just because of a reaccurant dream
." (Coelho, 163) After he crushes Santiago's hopes and dreams, the two men disappear. Santiago overcomes this obstacle by laughing about his shocking realization of where the treasure actually was. He returns to Spain to claim his treasure that was resting underneath the tree that was talked about in the beginning of the story. There he realizes that just because someone else hasn't reached their personal legend or goal in life, doesn't mean that you cannot reach yours and be proud of it.
Santiago encounters the first obstacle in his hometown when he is told that he cannot achieve his personal legend.
Santiago encounters his second obstacle while on hi journey.
Santiago encounters the third obstacle with the Alchemist at their camp as they are to create a sandstorm which they will prove to the general they can do.
Santiago encounters the last obstacle by the pyramids in Egypt after he begins to dig for his treasure.
Fear of Failure
With respect to this obstacle, many people are scared of failure. In The Alchemist, one has to fully accept their true potential and follow their heart which will help them achieve their personl legend. There may be hard times and many tests along the way, but a person must stay focussed on their dream before thinking about failing. In the story, Santiago and The Alchemist encounter a conflict which becomes the next obstacle. A tribe of Arab soldiers hold The Alchemist and Santiago captive. The Alchemist gives Santiago's money to the soldiers and he tells them that Santiago can turn himself into wind and it will wreck the he camp. This scares Santiago and he feels he is unable to complete this task. The alchemist tells him: "
There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure."
(Coehlo, 141) This causes Santiago to let go of his fears which are stopping him from completing this task. He finds it within himself to create a sandstorm which proves he overcame this obstacle.
How Santiago Overcomes Each Obstacle
Obstacle 2: Santiago overcomes the obstacle of true love by listening to The Alchemist's wise words. He tells him everything he needs to know about true love as it applies to his love for Fatima. Santiago recognizes that Fatima is his true love because she is devoted and will never get in the way of his dreams (personal legend)
Obstacle 3: Santiago overcomes his obstacle of failure by finding it within himself to create the sandstorm. At first, Santiago is unsure of how to make the sandstorm and he doubts himself as he feels that he will not be able to make it happen. In the end, he is able to create the sandstorm, this is where he realizes that anything is possible.
Obstacle 4: Sanitago overcomes this obstacle by laughing off his realization of the mysterious treasure. He returns to Spain and retrieves the treasure from underneath the tree. Santiago also reunites with his true love, Fatima, as she awaits him.
Obstacle one teaches Santiago and the reader that anything is possible and you can go out and chase your dreams no matter what anyone says. I will now remember this obstalce because it taught me that you can chase your dreams and persevere no matter what is in they way or what people are telling you. I will apply this to my everyday life.
Obstacle two teaches Santiago and the reader that true love is good, but ony if it doesn't get in the way of your dreams. Today, I can apply what The Alchemist tells Santiago about true love by witnessing it in relationships with other people.
Obstacle three teaches Santiago and the reader that failure is not an option when it comes to chasing your dreams and doing things for the first time. If you think negatively about something it becomes your reality, if you think positively about something it can promote good. Santiago thought he would fail while trying to create a sandstorm, but once he found the courage to do it he was able to effectively create the storm, causing a great outcome. Failure is not option because if you work hard and make sacrafices for something you will ultimately achieve everything you've dreamed of.
Obstacle four teaches Santiago and the reader that you should not be guilty of achieving your dreams or anything good. If you've worked hard for it, it is yours to be proud of. It also teaches us to not let anyone bring us down with them because they have not achieved what we have. I can apply this to school because if I do all of my homework, study for tests and quizzes, and attend class regularly, I will see the results. If one of my classmates is upset because they didn't work hard enough to recieve the same results as me, they should not bring me down and I cannot feel horrible, but I can try to motivate them to do better next time.