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Omens in "The Alchemist"

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by

James Rawls

on 4 February 2015

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Transcript of Omens in "The Alchemist"

“In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens. God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left for you”
(29).

In this quote Santiago has just met the King of Salem. The King is inspiring Santiago to pursue his personal legend. The importance of this quote is that if the King would have never have told him about the omens Santiago would have remained in his comfort zone of being a shepherd. The King of Salem adds to the theme in how he shows Santiago that everyone should pursue his or her own personal legend.
“An omen. The boy smiled to himself. He picked up the two stones and put them back in his pouch. He didn’t consider mending the hole—the stones could fall through any time they wanted. He had learned that there were certain things one shouldn't ask about, so as not to flee from one’s own Personal Legend. “I promised that I would make my own decisions,” he said to himself”
(41).

In this quote Santiago had recently just been ditched after being distracted by items in the market of a thieves village with no money, preventing him from returning to Spain anytime soon. Santiago checks his bag and turns to the two stones, Urim and Thummim, and they both fall out of his bag on the ground. The importance of this quote is that Santiago considers these two stones falling out as an Omen that Santiago must take control of his personal legend.














“People talk a lot about omens, thought the shepherd. But they really don’t know what they’re saying. Just as I hadn’t realized that for so many years I had been speaking a language without words to my sheep”
(46).

When Santiago finally takes charge of his personal legend he finds himself with a job at a crystal shop. The Crystal Merchant tells the boy that two more customers had come in since he had started working there. When the merchant tells him that it is a good omen it becomes a point of clarity for Santiago in how Omens play a factor in the pursuit of his Personal legend.
“The old man spoke about signs and omens, and, as the boy was crossing the strait, he had thought about omens. Yes the old man had known what he was talking about: during the time the boy had spent in the fields of Andalusia, he had become used to learning which path he should take by observing the ground and the sky. He had discovered that the presence of a certain bird meant that a snake was nearby, and that a certain shrub was a sign that there was water in the area. The sheep had taught him that”
(34-35).

In this part of the story Santiago is showing what he knows about reading omens according to The King of Salem. Santiago often remembers things that the King said, especially about Omens. This is important because The King of Salem influenced Santiago to take this journey, and The King acts as his guide through his personal legend, even though he is not physically there.













By: James Rawls and Chris Clarke
Omens in "The Alchemist"
“He thought of the many roads he had traveled, and of the strange way God had chosen him his treasure. If he hadn’t believed in the significance of recurrent dreams, he would not have met the Gypsy woman, the king, thief, or… “Well it’s a long list. But the path was written in the omens, and there was no way I could go wrong,” he said to himself”
(165).
"During his time in the desert, he had learned that, in Egypt, the scarab beetles are a symbol of God. Another Omen! The boy began to dig into the dune" (161).
Thesis Statement
Omens in the Alchemist are signs on the road of Santiago's spiritual and physical journey. Omens relate to the theme because the theme states that all people should pursue their Personal Legends, and Omens act as tools to help individuals complete their Personal Legend. All Omens are specific to each person and without omens we would not be able to complete our Personal Legends.
At this time in the novel Santiago reaches the desert. When he gets there he sees a scarab beetle, and he thinks it's an omen. Since he thinks the beetle is an omen he begins to dig to find his treasure. This omen is important because it makes him believe that he has found the treasure. Also if he never dug in the desert, the robbers might not of robbed him and told him where the treasure was. Santiago is fully committed in completing his personal legend
At this point in the story Santiago has realized that his treasure was at the start of his Personal legend all along. He begins to think of the people he met and the omens that guided him through his personal journey. This important because he is realizing that if he had not believed in dreams, spirituality, and the guidance from the King he would have not gone on his

world wind
of a journey.
Full transcript