The Alchemist Essay, Research Paper
“That’s the principle that governs all things. In alchemy, it’s called the Soul of the World. When you want something with all your heart, that’s when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It’s always a positive force” (80). Anything I’ve ever wanted to happen bad enough, there has always been a way for me to achieve that goal. Or an alternative that could be more beneficial appears. Except, I wouldn’t quite call it the Soul of the World. I’d call it the will of God. Both Santiago in “The Alchemist” and the priest’s son in “The Water’s of Babylon” worked with the Soul of the World or the will of God. Whatever one calls it, the Soul of the World or the will of God, it is an unstoppable force. If there is a will there is a way.
Santiago’s goal was to reach the treasure at the pyramids in Egypt. From the moment he had the dream about the treasure, the world worked with him so he could realize that goal. Here, Santiago discovers some good omens for his journey:
” ‘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.’ Before the boy could reply, a butterfly appeared between him and the old man. He remembered something his grandfather had once told him: that butterflies were a good omen. Like crickets, and like expectations; like lizards and four-leaf clovers.”
Even when Santiago had almost given up his journey, after working in the crystal shop for eleven months and nine days, he finally earned enough money to go to Mecca and buy his sheep. But for some reason, he remembered what the old man had told him about seeking his Personal Legend. Because of this, Santiago decided he would go and try again to find his treasure.
Later in the story, Santiago met the girl of his dreams on his way to find the treasure. Because the Soul of the World was with him, he not only saved the oasis in which she lived, but she encouraged him to continue on his journey. She promised that when he returned, she would be waiting for him.
The Soul of the World was also an important force in the priest’s son’s life in “The Waters of Babylon.” Like Santiago, the priest’s son also had dreams about his journey that life had in store for him. When he set out on his journey, he also saw good omens. One was when he was saw a buck. He knew it was good luck, so he followed it. Even though it took him to an area of the land were he wasn’t supposed to go, he went anyway because of his trust in the Soul of the World or the will of God. He was lead to a place that would change the fate of his land.
Both Santiago and the priest’s son reached their Personal Legends or lived their dreams. Like them both, if we want to make our own Personal Legends or achieve our dreams, and we want it bad enough the world will work with us to achieve it. If we really want it bad enough, we could feel as though we have “plunged to the Soul of the World” (102).