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Transcript of THE ALCHEMIST
Prognostications (page 111)
“Be careful with your prognostications,” said the stranger. “When something is written, there is no way to change it.”
it is a prediction about the future according to present indications, omens, or signs; foretell; to foreshadow
After examining the dead crows behind her house, she prognosticated that something bad will happen in the upcoming days.
The Crystal Merchant
The crystal merchant is one of the characters who gives up on their Personal Legend. He is a devoted Muslim who dreams of making a pilgrimage to Mecca but fears that if he achieves it, there will be nothing to live for anymore. He is also afraid of change because he does not know how to deal with them.
The thought of
keeps the merchant alive. It helps him get through the "days that are all the same, the mute crystals on the shelves, and lunch and dinner at the same horrible cafe." (Coelho 55) He is afraid that if his dream is realized, there will be no point to go on living. He imagines Mecca all the time but fears that it would all be a disappointment. That is why he prefers to just dream about it.
There were multiple times when Santiago wanted to give up on his Personal Legend because of the hardships and distractions he came across. For example, when he met the crystal merchant and learned that it was hard to travel to Egypt, Santiago decided to work for the
Perseverance and self-trust can lead to your treasure, happiness, or triumph.
that is where you'll find your treasure." (Coelho 128). This self-trust helped him believe that he can transform into the wind. Together, perseverance and self-trust led Santiago to discover his treasure at the abandoned church in Spain.
merchant instead. However, his perseverance masked these hardships and allowed him to continue his journey. As Santiago travels to the Pyramids, he is forced to listen to his heart and trust it, "because, wherever your heart is,
Santiago's transformation to the wind
Santiago brought the chieftain to a cliff which overlooked the horizon and the mountains in the distance. There, Santiago talks to the desert about love and asks for help. Later, Santiago also converses with the wind and sun who joins forces to help Santiago achieve a hard task -- to transform himself into the wind. The simum blew hard
that day and almost destroyed the camp. The desert teaches Santiago to understand the Language of the World and he uses this to communicate with the desert, wind, and sun. Santiago is able to accomplish his task because they all knew how to speak the Language of the World. After proving his capabilities, the alchemist and the boy were released and they continued their journey to the Pyramids.
On his journey to pursue his Personal Legend, Santiago has to pass the vast and dangerous desert. The desert symbolizes the challenges one faces when following their dreams. On the other hand, the desert also teaches Santiago about life and the Soul of the World. Santiago is forced to listen and follow his heart throughout his journey. Every grain of sand on the desert is a moment of creation, and Santiago is able to recognize this. He understands his surroundings better which helps him when he had to transform himself into the wind.
The Crystal Merchant
Like the crystal merchant, I have dreams of traveling. He wants to travel to Mecca and I want to travel around the world. Also, the merchant does not want change because he is used to the way things are. He says, "I don't want to change anything, because I don't know how to deal with change. I'm used to the way I am." Like him, sometimes I do not want change, even if it is a small one because it takes time to adjust. Right now, I am quite happy with my life and I do not want any drastic changes.
Unlike the crystal merchant who gave up on his Personal Legend, I would strive to pursue mine. I do not want to settle in one place only to dream about another. I know that I would only regret it later on. After Santiago arrives and opens the door that showed the merchant the immense possibilities he has, he realizes the things he is able to accomplish but does not want to. If I were him, I would take the opportunity to achieve my goals and dreams.
Fear of Failure
"There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure." (Coelho 141)
In the novel, it was the fear of failure that kept the Englishman from attempting the Master Work. In society today, there are times that I, along with many other teenagers around the world, are afraid to do something because of the fear of failure. This gets in between our thoughts and sometime later in the future, we regret our decisions. For example, the time I failed at violin studies made me think that I had no chance to excel at them. I was young then and now I realize that it was the fear talking. I stopped my studies because I did not want to fail again.
"It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting..." (Coelho 11)
Santiago realizes this before he goes to the old gypsy woman to interpret his dream. It shows that if a dream comes true, one will live an interesting and pleasing life.
One should live his or her life listening to their hearts and pursuing their dreams or Personal Legends. It is only by doing this that one can live a satisfying and happy life. Those who do not will regret it later on.
"Why do we have to listen to our hearts?" the boy asked.
"Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you'll find your treasure." the alchemist replied. (Coelho 128)
If we listen to our hearts, we will be able to find our treasure, as the quote simply puts it. When that treasure is discovered, we will live life with high spirits and happy thoughts because we trusted ourselves to find the treasure and we deserve to live a happy life because of that.
The crystal merchant told Santiago, "I don't want anything else in life. But you are forcing me to look at wealth and at horizons I have never known. Now that I have seen them, and now that I see how immense my possibilities are, I'm going to feel worse that I did before you arrived. Because I know the things I should be able to accomplish, and I don't want to do so." (Coelho 58)
This quote shows the merchant's regret that he did not pursue his Personal Legend. Before Santiago came, his life seemed dull and his shop almost reached bankruptcy. If he continued to chase his dreams, he might be living a better life.
The King of Salem, King Melchizedek, explained "It's [Personal Legend] what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is...They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives." (Coelho 21)
This shows that people have Personal Legends because they want to live a complete life filled with accomplishments. If the dreams are achieved, it is assured that one's life will be satisfying like they hoped it will be.
"The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity." (Coelho 103)
This quote mainly talks about living life in the present to make a better future. Life is like a ladder. Whatever I do now is like climbing the first rung of the ladder. If all goes well, I ascent higher into a brighter future. It is all about taking the steps. It all starts with focusing on the present to build a better future. Each day I spend living life happily will result in a healthier future with eternal memories that I would always cherish.
ALYSSA ALEA 10B