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Hero's Journey Archetype- The Alchemist

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Hana Alize

on 5 October 2016

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Transcript of Hero's Journey Archetype- The Alchemist

The Hero's Journey-- The Alchemist
“The possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting" - The Alchemist, Paulo Cohelo
"The Hero’s Journey is an pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development. It describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as "the Hero", the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization."

-Santiago; young, Andalusian shepherd
-Raised and educated by his parents to be a priest
-Love of travel led to him becoming a shepherd
-Spends his time roaming Spanish pastures and fields, craves adventure

[this stage teaches us about Santiago's past, about the complacent life he lives, the wonder that he is full of and the adventure he craves]

-Along his travels (namely in the old church with the sycamore tree growing within), has multiple dreams about finding treasure near the Egyptian pyramids
-Could not ignore the feeling of having a larger purpose/the feeling of knowing himself better
-Visits the gypsy in the town of Tarifa who tells him he must follow his dreams as is it a sign from God

[In this stage, Santiago's destiny/calling is revealed to him through a dream, as well as by the words of the dream reader. Here he is facing the beginning of change/of a new mindset]

-makes numerous excuses as to why he cannot go, and why he should not follow his dream:
"It is too far." "I am too poor." "I belong here, as a shepherd." "My sheep will be lonely without me." etc.

[Santiago turns away from fear of the unknown, as he doubts himself and creates irrelevant excuses.]

-While sitting on a bench in Tarifa contemplating the words of the gypsy, Santiago meets Melchizedek, the king of Salem
-The king explains that following one's Personal Legend is the only way to achieve your full potential and find your true purpose

[The king serves as a protector, guide, and wise elder in this time of the journey. He gives Santiago the advice, courage, and wisdom he needs to continue on.]

-When he trusts a fellow Spaniard in a foreign land too quickly, Santiago gets robbed of all of his money
-Santiago is faced with the obstacle of having no money after this incident
-He finally finds work and a companion in the shop of a crystal merchant, who brings attention to Santiago's feelings towards his Personal Legend and motivates him to keep going after such a hard fall

[Numerous times throughout the story, Santiago is faced with examples of tests, allies and enemies. Near the Port of Tangier he meets an individual who he presumed to be an ally, who later becomes an enemy and as the result of this faces the test of being broke and left with nothing. Later he makes an ally of the crystal shop merchant who is a very significant part of the story and of Santiago's character development]

-Santiago exchanges one sixth of his flock for information about the treasure, which shows he is now willing and ready to embark on this adventure
-Sells his sheep and leaves behind his life as a simple shepherd
-Uses the money to buy a boat ticket to go from Tarifa, Spain to North Africa

[Although difficult and risky, Santiago takes the first significant step in his journey.]
The Ordeal

-Faced with the possibility of death in two ways, the Ordeal in the Alchemist is when Santiago and the rest of the Oasis awaits the arrival of an attack from the desert. If there is an attack, his life is obviously in danger as the enemy will most likely be armed and have a violent intention, however if there is not an attack he will be executed by the leaders of the Oasis for falsely alarming them.
The Reward (aka The Elixir)

-Santiago meets Fatima, his true love. He says that he is so happy with her he'd forget about the rest of his journey to spend the rest of his life with her, but she wants him to continue his journey because she truly loves him.
-The leaders of the Oasis grant Santiago the promised amount of gold for being right about the attack, and saving the Oasis
-Santiago has a new found knowledge of himself and of the world that he has gained from this journey so far, and that will carry him into the next stage of his journey

[Santiago takes possession of the treasure won by facing death. There are also many other, less concrete rewards that he has gained this far. There is a small celebration, but there is also danger of losing the treasure again.]
The Road Back

-The Alchemist and Santiago embark on their trek through the desert, and he masters a companionship with his heart.
-As time goes by, his path becomes more and more clear as Santiago approaches his destination (the Egyptian Pyramids)

[Literally speaking, this stage marks the nearing of the ultimate destination of Santiago's journey. Figuratively, he learns lessons about himself and the world through his contemplation and the assistance of the Alchemist, and he is closer to achieving his Personal Legend.]
The Resurrection

-When faced with powerful desert men who threaten death upon him and the Alchemist, Santiago is faced with the task of turning himself into the wind. Summoning everything he has learned thus far on his journey, Santiago embraces himself and the world around him and finally speaks fluently, the Language of the World. He transforms into the wind using his love for Fatima as well as the wisdom he gained from the Alchemist, from himself and the world around him to achieve the impossible and save himself from death. From this experience a new and improved, more pure, wise, and fulfilled self is achieved.

[Santiago enters one of the last major battles in the Special World and confronts death. After putting all he has learned so far to the test, he achieves something he thought was impossible and learned so much about himself Also, out of this moment of death comes a new life.
Return with the Elixir

-Santiago returns back home and he digs by the sycamore tree, where he finds a chest of coins. If he hadn't pursued his personal legend and listened to the omens around him, his life would have been completely different. The journey has changed him, the hero, and he must now learn to integrate his new knowledge with his old ways. He is now almost a totally new person, and his experiences and accomplishments define him as a wise, admirable, respected and strong young man. With an abundance of wealth, in many ways, Santiago decides to return back to his love, Fatima, to spend the rest of his days with her.

-In the oasis, Santiago warns tribesmen of an oncoming attack. When he is correct, this proves to himself that he has learned how to read omens. In this part of the story, Santiago, the Englishman, the people and the leaders of the Oasis all wait for an attack of some sort from an enemy group out in the desert in anticipation.
"It was as if some mysterious energy bound his life to that of the sheep with whom he had spent the past two years leading them through the countryside in search of food and water" (Coelho 4)

"His purpose in life was to tracel, and, after two years of walking the Andalusian terrain, he knew all of the cities in the region." (Coelho 8)
Area of Andalusia, Spain
Tarifa, Spain
"While standing at the ticket window, the boy had remembered his flock, and decided he should go back to being a shepherd." (Coelho 26)
The Port of Tangier
Al Fayoum Oasis, Egypt
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