The Alchemist Essay Research Paper Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist Essay, Research Paper

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janiero in 1947 and before his career as a

best-selling author, he was a playwright, theater director, hippie, and popular

songwriter for some of Brazil’s leading pop artists. In 1986 he took a

pilgrimage along that Road of Santiago and this would be the center of the

plot of the book, The Pilgrimage, which was published in 1987. His second

book was named The Alchemist and was published in 1988. This book has

gone to number one in 29 countries and Coelho has been regarded as the most

widely read contemporary writers. The Alchemist was one of the top ten

international best sellers of 1998. His work has been published in more than

100 countries and is translated into 42 different languages. He has been

awarded a variety of prestigious awards from many different countries. He

today lives in South America with his family.

The story begins when the shepherd boy stopped for the night in a

church with a sycamore tree growing out of the middle. He told of the easy

going life of the shepherd and how his parents had wanted him to become a

priest. He went to all the schooling, but at the last minute he changed his

mind. He wanted to see the world and he felt that the best way to do this was

to become a shepherd. He said that the life of a shepherd is easy and carefree

and he felt like this was the way he wanted to live. He was anticipating seeing

the daughter of a man who would buy the wool from his sheep when he

arrived in the town that he would come to in another couple of days. He

thought that he might actually settle down and get married to this girl if she

would like to. He had been having a recurring dream about him at the

pyramids in Egypt. There he would be able to find all of the treasure in the

world and to realize what would come to be called his personal legend.

When he reached the next town he went to the fortuneteller and asked

her if she could help him out with is problem. She was unclear about what to

do, but she made him promise to give him a percentage of his treasure if he

ever found it. When he left the fortuneteller, he went and sat in the park to

read his new book. He was not in the mood for talking with others when the

old king approached him and tried to strike up a conversation with him. He

told the boy that everyone has a personal legend that he has to fulfill at some

time in his life. He tells him that his could be found at the pyramids because

of the dreams that he has been having lately. He tells him that he will help

him if he will give him ten percent of his herd, because you should never

promise anything that you don’t have yet. He sold all of his sheep and he was

given ummim and thummim, the two rocks that would help him make any

decisions that he was unable to make.

Then off he went down the road and traveled to the northern tip of

Africa. From there he left with all of his money in his pocket and set to a bar

where he didn’t speak the same language as any of the people there. He was

taken for a fool and all of his money was taken in the first few hours. He

stayed in the town for a while and he went into a shop that sold crystal. He

helped the man to clean all of the crystal and while he was there, two people

came in and bought crystal. The owner thought that this was a good omen and

that he should try to keep the boy around. Since he didn’t have any money he

stayed on for eleven months and greatly improved the man’s shop. When he

finally left he had enough money to do with what he wanted and he set off to

fulfill his personal legend. He traveled to the pyramids by way of northern

Africa. About half way through his trip he came onto an oasis that was in the

middle of a war between two native tribes. The rules of war said that the

oasis should be a safe haven for all of the people that were traveling through

the desert. This is where he met the alchemist, the man that would help him to

realize his personal legend. By going off into the desert at night, he learned all

about the masterwork and the many things that he needed to do in order to

become a true alchemist. He began to have a dream about a group of rebels

attacking the oasis because they thought that the travelers would be taking up

arms against them. The boy went to the men who were in charge of the oasis

and told them of the impending doom that was coming onto the oasis. They

didn’t believe that this dream was an omen but they gave him one shot. The

rebels did attack and they were able to fend off all of the assailants. The boy

was hailed as a hero and he went off into the desert to seek his personal

legend. Here he was forced to make a decision about whether or not to leave

behind the woman that he met and decided to marry. He said that he would

return later and he did. This was after he found out about the treasure he

yearned for. He finally figured out that his treasure was in the sycamore tree

that was growing out of the middle of an old church. He returned to his

homeland and had his treasure intact and was able to live happily ever after.

The shepard was able to live happily ever after because of the

experiences that shaped his life. He went through many things on his trip and

discovered that his life was his treasure. The beauty of the world was his

personal legend not some chest of gold. These events changed his out look on

life into a loving respecting one from the normal greedy and intolerble one.

This man started out to find all of the treasure that this world had, but ended

up finding only the treasure he had inside. He went from being a dreamer to a

humbled being only capable of loving life for what it was. He was no longer

intrested in being the wealthiest man; he was only intrested in being himself.

In this way he was the richest man and the happiest as well.

This book showed many of the values we as humans place upon

materialistic objects. I believe that instead of placing value on that of gold,

we should place value on that of life, love and happiness. This should be all

that matters and all that exists. Money is the root of all evil and humans only

add to that by never realizing its true impact on life. The poorest people or

many times richer than the wealthiest. Why do we continue to work towards

being rich when we already are? If as human beings we could look past

differences and stature we would better the world as a whole. This is

something everyone needs to try. I know that if I could just change a small

amount of my thinking into this manner I would become a better person. Not

only to others but to myself as well.


The Alchemist:by Paul Coelho



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