The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho - Santiago Analysis

Keywords: the pilgrimage analysis, santiago identity analysis

Paulo Coelho's mysterious novel follows the experience of Santiago, a young Sheppard from an Andalusian town who disobeyed his father's will for him to become a priest. Because of this Santiago can be described as a determined, inquisitive as well as exciting child as he leads his sheep through the mysterious deserts. At the beginning of the book, we see Santiago at an left behind chapel, where he has been having reoccurring dreams of a hidden treasure found at the Pyramids of Egypt. Having no knowledge of omens or Personal Legends at that time, he shrugged off this wish until he made a decision to visit a fortune-teller. Both she and an old man (whom he meets shortly afterward) simply tell him that he has a goal in life that he must realize, and that is clearly a part of his existence. While chasing his journey, he learns a fair bit about the globe around him. Although he has been thankful to have trusted individuals such as Melchizedek, there were many negative lessons discovered such as depressive disorder (the Crystal Product owner), faraway love (the baker's little girl) as well as deceit (the thief that stole his money). Many of these obstacles held Santiago again on his mission to finding his Personal Legend. However, as the reoccurring quotation "When you wish something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it" (Coelho, 62) remains engraved in his head, his degrees of motivation are once again replenished. There are a variety of events when Santiago is forced to make options that could modify the results of his journey. For example, he had to give up being a Sheppard and sell his sheep in order to can pay for to be able to financing his voyage to Egypt, hoping of finding his treasure. I find Santiago to be always a dynamic persona as he matures and sees true love near the end of the e book. He has come to learn about the different dialects of the world, of the heart and unite himself with his environment. The Spirit of the World is one of the biggest spiritual developments that Santiago discovers throughout his voyage for his Personal Story. This term is almost straight associated with "collective worship". Many of these worshippers from different religions worship a certain puzzle. But in the end, all the religions point on the same mystery this is the true Heart of the World. Santiago's dynamic qualities are definitely more apparent nearby the end of the e book, where he almost offers up completely on seeking his Personal Tale. Like the Crystal Product owner, he starts to show more materialistic features and deems that his current belongings are satisfactory for him and that the trip towards a supplementary but better treasure is not necessary. Proof this is found when Santiago instructs the Alchemist "I've already found my treasure. I have a camel, I've my money from the crystal shop, and I have fifty gold items" (Coelho, 115).

By the end of the novel, Santiago has acquired a great deal of experienced, mainly gained by the knowledge of the Alchemist. Santiago learned to relinquish dread by hearing his heart, which led him in the right course and ultimately led him to his treasure, that was bought at the sycamore tree in the forgotten church at the start of the book. Santiago's understanding of the "Heart and soul of the World" reaches its highest point through the event where Santiago was forced to turn himself into the wind by a couple of warriors from the desert. At that time, Coelho uses figurative techniques in order to bring life to the sun, the desert, the breeze as well as the heavens. The usage of personification related to these elements shows how much Santiago has learned and deepened his knowledge of the entire world. Santiago's experience has taken him to understand the universal terms of the world and is thus able to talk to these inanimate elements.

If there was one thing I learned by the end of this book, it is the fact the type of Santiago can be symbolic to just how we live our own personal lives. Like each and every one of us, we've character defects that could keep us from reaching our goals in life. Although the majority of us do not rely on omens to be able to learn if we are on the right course, we often rely on others invaluable sources such as our family people and friends who provide moral support to help achieve our "Personal Legend". Road blocks will surely be satisfied (we have seen many throughout Santiago's trip) however thanks to the assistance of characters like the Englishman and the Alchemist, Santiago was finally have the ability to fulfill his future and finally reunite himself with Fatima, the girl of his dreams.

ISU Publications: Personal Legend

In Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist the writer puts a great deal of emphasis on Personal Legends. Upon Santiago's quest, he satisfies a stranger who later unveils himself as Melchizedek, the ruler of Salem. He uncovers to Santiago an important moral guideline, in which is made up the foundation of Coelho's whole novel: Pursuing one's own Personal Legend. The king describes this legend as "A point in someone's life where everything is clear, everything is possible. They aren't afraid to perfect and to yearn for everything they wish to see happen to them in their lives" (Coelho, 21). Furthermore, the king explains how you will see difficult obstructions to conquer in the road to realising the personal Legend. One of the obstacles presented in Part 1 of the book is a boy who agreed to help lead him towards Egyptian Pyramids for an expense. Little do the innocent boy know that the youngster was in simple fact a thief which dishonesty runs rampant in the city of Tangier. Another occasion is when Santiago meets an Arabic Crystal merchant, a man that has maintained his shop for over thirty years at the top of a hilly block. Throughout the crystal merchant's figure in Part One of the novel, we can see that he was unable to fulfill his own private Legend (that was to travel to the Mecca). While scanning this particular instance of the novel, I sensed that the merchants' identity greatly contrasts the protagonist's quest into seeking his own destiny. Phrases such as "he had experienced the same place for thirty years" "there is a period" and "it was too overdue to do other things" really show how much beliefs the vendor lost in his personal dreams. I came across that really damaged Santiago's morality and therefore, I outlined this amount as an obstacle to the fulfillment of Santiago's Personal Tale. Nonetheless the boy's depression was soon relieved after the old merchant wanted to help the young boy to satisfy what he once imagined doing.

ISU Publications: Sheep

At the beginning of Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist we are brought upon the idea of the symbolism of the young Santiago's flock of sheep. Santiago's flock of sheep are first offered at the beginning of the novel. The Sheppard and his flock got ventured through the countryside of Andalusia for days gone by two years in search of food and water. Both the animals and their get better at have certainly developed a solid relationship of friendship and it is explicitly shown in the text when Santiago talks about "They can be so used if you ask me that they know my routine" (Coelho, 4). He'd read to them regularly, commentate on the views that they exceeded by while going after their quest and comfort them when they would begin to mix. Santiago also comments that the amount of knowledge and knowing that he received from his sheep is quite superior to that of a book.

Although Santiago's appreciation and portrayed love for his sheep are unavoidable, the higher symbolism is based on the emotions of disgust that he has towards them. While reading the book, I have observed circumstances where Santiago says that the only things that sheep care about are water and food. The convenience of enjoyment for pets or animals is greatly contrasted your of humans. Santiago is amazed by how careless the sheep are of their surroundings so long as they are given with nourishment. This helped bring me to recognize that the limited perspectives on life of these sheep could in reality be paralleled start of the Crystal Vendor as well as the baker. Evidence of this is shown when Santiago says "If I became a monster today and made a decision to kill them, one by one, they might become aware only after the majority of the flock had been slaughtered". (Coelho, 7) Much like the Crystal Merchant and the baker, the sheep care nothing else but their materials desires (being the food and normal water). In the case of the Crystal Product owner, he is too preoccupied along with his boring lifestyle (for more than thirty years) and the desire that everything remains the same. According to the ruler of Salem, those who present similar characteristics to the merchant cannot completely neither understand nor appreciate their goal in life, nor the creations of God. That is one of the reason why that have retained them from chasing their future.

Setting/ Epoch

Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist has numerous settings which progress along with the novel. For instance, the start of the story is occurred in the lands of Spain. Proof this is shown generally by the name of the protagonist: Santiago and by the actual fact that the guy first cause his journey around Andalusia. Also, there is a passage in the storyplot making relevance to the Moorish invasion over Spain "The girl was typical of the region of Andalusia, with moving black scalp, and eye that vaguely recalled the Moorish conquerors. " (Coelho, 5) By this quotation only, we can already believe that the story's epoch is set in a pre-modern context (several hundreds of years ago) during the time where most technologies such as pcs, cellphones were absent. Also, caravans as method of transportation are not used as much in the present day era instead of in the storyline. Additionally, the next quote provides proof of the setting up by revealing the sort of currency "The very next day, he provided his kid a pouch that held three historical Spanish coins" (Coelho, 9). As well as the epoch, Alchemy was a practice that had been abandoned years back as it turned out confirmed that you could not transform any natural stone into another by simply melting it and waiting many years.

The preparing shifts to another Spanish town situated in Andalusia called Tarifa. It is at this landmark that Santiago fulfills with the ruler of Salem and is given instructions on seeking his Personal Legend. Evidence of this is shown when the writer describes the scenery and mentions that "At the highest point in Tarifa, there is an old fort. Built by the Moors. " (Coelho, 33)The storyline line shifts continents and happens to be within a city called Tangier, which is found in Morocco (North Africa). We can confirm this setting up because we find that the main vocabulary is Arabic, which Santiago isn't familiar with. Clues such as "the gigantic tube" (Coelho, 34) which may also be referred to as a shisha; "women with the faces protected" (34) and "priests that climbed to the tops of towers and chanted" (34) all suggest an Arabic (Muslim) community.

The final environment is in the Sahara desert, in which Santiago crosses in order to get to Egypt. Once more, clues like the Al Fayoum oasis which is situated close to the Nile River as well as the Arabic people validate the ultimate major setting of the novel.

Plot summary

Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist follows the story of a young Andalusian boy named Santiago whose experience begins after using a reoccurring dream about him and a incomprehensible treasure found in the Pyramids of Egypt. Piqued by interest, the young encounters numerous individuals, who effect his journey (both positively and adversely) to his treasure. A few of these individuals include: the Gypsy, the king of Salem, the thief at Tangier interface, the Crystal Vendor, the baker, the Englishman, Fatima as well as the Alchemist himself.

The main event in the storyplot is defined when Santiago is obligated to produce a group of sacrifices in order to obtain his Personal Star. For instance, the first occasion is when he practices the king of Salem's advice to sell his sheep also to travel to Tangier. The King teaches Santiago about omens which help Santiago in making the right decisions. However, the young guy got robbed and therefore got a job at a Crystal merchant's shop. There, he could teach the merchant on the meanings of life and how he shouldn't have given up on pursuing his own Personal Legend to 1 day happen to be the Mecca. By making enough money, Santiago is able to pay his way across the Sahara desert towards the sands of Egypt through a caravan. He then encounters an Englishman, who in addition has set himself on the journey and discover his Personal Tale (to become an Alchemist). Through this man, Santiago learns about alchemy and the quantity of difficulty associated with it. Arriving at an oasis, Santiago envisions a horde of men attacking the desert and warns the chieftains. These were successfully in a position to defend against these men and Santiago finds the possibility to meet up with the Alchemist in person. The Alchemist educates the boy an many amount of valuable lessons such as "listening to the guts, never giving up, understanding the Spirit of the World" etc. Santiago is put to the ultimate test when he has been captured by several Arabic troops and ordered him to carefully turn himself in to the wind flow as a display of his marvelous power. By linking his heart and soul to the Soul of the World, Santiago communicates with the sun, the wind as well as the Hands that Wrote All which invoked a robust storm that helped bring Santiago to the other side of the hostile camp. Santiago and the Alchemist were free and Santiago finally makes it to the Pyramids of Egypt. However, Santiago is greatly beaten and robbed at his final destination. One of the men describes his own fantasy as having seen a treasure buried at an deserted chapel beside a Sycamore tree in Spain. Alarmed, Santiago finally recognized this so this means and found his own treasure which has been at the starting point of his entire journey.

Author relevance/ Writing Style

Paulo Coelho is the author of one of the very most compelling books that I and many more have ever read. I believe the type of Santiago is easily portrayed by the writer himself as both undergo a quest of self-freedom and also to find their own contentment. A lot like Santiago's job as a Sheppard, Paulo's imagine becoming a copy writer was intensely frowned upon by the participants of his family. His mom told him that his dad was a very bright engineer which becoming a copy writer wasn't employment that got a lot of compliment. As a matter of fact, Santiago's parents were similarly perplexed about his imagine learning to be a Sheppard. Unlike Coelho's family however, the young boy's parents accepted his goal quicker than the writer.

The making of point of Paulo's life was when he strolled the 500 plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. In this pilgrimage, Paulo possessed a spiritual awakening and for that reason possessed a different view on life. This part of his life acquired a great impact on his award being successful novel. It is without a doubt that the protagonists name had been inspired by the city of Santiago de Compostela. Like the sheep in the novel, Coelho resided his life only on "food and water" and wasn't living his life to be able to go after his Personal Story, which was to become full-time article writer. The road blocks that Coelho have faced in order to become a writer, and therefore fulfilling his own private Star, are paralleled to Santiago's own hurdles in the novel. Major depression, thievery as well as physical assault are things that both author and Santiago have undergone before realising their fantasy. Unlike Coelho however, Santiago had moral instruction as well as charms (Urim and Thummim) in order to guide him to realize his search with better efficiency.

After having read the author's biography, I find that Santiago's journey had not been necessarily an excursion to find a material treasure, but also a pilgrimage for a religious awakening (just like Coelho's path). Important announcements such as "listening to one's heart, following ones perfect, understanding the Soul of the World etc. " are things that Coelho himself in addition has endured. During his pilgrimage, he has ultimately formed a relationship with nature which is very evident in his writing style when he brings inanimate elements like the sun and wind flow alive. Coelho has an extremely interesting design of writing that appeals a lot to myself. Many books nowadays are several a huge selection of web pages long and focusing too much on landscapes/setting that often detract readers from understanding any kind of moral or life-changing subject matter. Much like my literary compositions, I strive to only include tips and keep most "text-fillers" out. EVEN THOUGH THE Alchemist is a very short book, Coelho avoids many pointless descriptions such as the scenery, individuals and his use of imagery is very limited. Even having completed the novel, we have no idea of many of the character's age nor their appearance. The reason being is that Coelho neglected the majority of these pointless elements to build up the story's main subject matter: to check out one's Personal Story. Utilizing a linear progression of writing, the writer keeps the storyline rolling with plot-relevant details such as what the type is doing.


I consider one of the most important text messages in this complete book is to simply "follow one's aspiration". Although this cheesy theme has been recycled many times and can be found in various motion pictures and literary works likewise, Coelho's writing style is what sets his book in addition to the others. For example, the author's use of Alchemy greatly enforces the catalogs central theme. As the practice of Alchemy is to enhance an ordinary stone (particularly lead, in this booklet) to silver, we can metaphorically relate Santiago to a block of lead. The procedure of alchemy will take many years and this is also associated with the time that Santiago spent in the Spanish pastures, Tarifa, Tangier and the desert in order to better understand his Personal Tale. Once Santiago attained the Alchemist (the final part to the puzzle) he got an accident course on religious awakening, hearing his heart and soul/soul and communicating with aspect. That was the ultimate process in which Santiago had a need to undergo in order for him to be completely transformed from a bit of lead to yellow metal, hence rewarding his Personal Star and finding his treasure under the sycamore tree at the empty church.

I'm sure that most of us can relate with this particular theme as most of us have had our personal dreams or goals during our life span. When looking for the most part successful people on earth such as Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Invoice Gates or even Steve Jobbs, they didn't lives entirely off "water and food" as the Crystal Product owner, Baker and Santiago's sheep did. They do have material possessions at the time however the difference is that they made hazards in their lives in order to accomplish their dreams (whatever they might be). The same pertains to Santiago, when he made a huge sacrifice of giving up his sheep to get money in order to travel to Egypt. Many novels illustrate some type of sacrifice in order to fulfill their own dreams. Using the books theory, Mother Theresa was also an ordinary woman, who was simply ordained a Saint several years ago after devoting herself to help the poor.

Although I have not figured out my Personal Tale yet, I believe the book highlights important issues with the world all around us. I start to see the Crystal Product owner as a metaphor to the common Joe of the modern era. A person that is solely quite happy with his material possessions and the ways things are. Even Newton's first laws of physics (inertia) shows us our body wants to be found at a same position and tries to avoid to changes. Therefore, a lot of us don't travel very good enough from our comfort zone because were either scared of the unknown or scared that people will falter.

Literary Devices/Predictions

In Coelho's novel, the most visible and important literary device is foreshadowing. My predictions established for my novel are heavily based on the signs I come across from the reoccurring components of foreshadowing. However, other literary devices such as irony, metaphors, personifications, icons, motifs, styles are also contained in the novel. The first prediction that we made within the first couple of web pages of the novel was his dream of having sought out his Personal Story in the Pyramids of Egypt along with the help of a young man. Before having completed the reserve, I assumed that this youngster was to be later unveiled as an alchemist; nevertheless the identity of this boy remains concealed. This component of foreshadowing takes on a huge role in the entire progression of the publication as it is this incident that sparks the complete story brand as it initiates him to speak to the Gypsy, in which he later encounters the king of Salem etc.

After most of Santiago's affects, I've came to the conclusion that he'd nonetheless have a change in his personality some way. Since Santiago's journey relies heavily on the use of omens, it is straightforward to forecast future events and the decisions that he will make in order to accomplish an activity. For instance, I've predicted that the Crystal Merchant would surely happen to be the Mecca to realise his Personal Star after having encountered Santiago and deemed him as a "good omen". I've also predicted Santiago's loss of hope and that he would finally quit his voyage after he stuffed up his luggage to return to Spain. However, I later uncovered that the omens of Urim and Thummim have signalled to Santiago that he must not quit and must in simple fact continue his quest to find his Personal Star. Further on in the story, I noticed that Santiago and the Alchemist have encountered hostile Arabic troops on the way to the Pyramids. I then noted that venturing in this area would lead with their eventual take.

On the be aware of literary devices, personification played a grand role in the introduction of the climax (real human traits were given to sunlight, wind flow as well as the Side that Wrote All). The storyplot alludes to numerous characters throughout record as well as mythology. For example, Biblical allusion is manufactured towards the ruler of Jerusalem "Melchizedek" who brought bread and wine beverage and offered a blessing (Urim and Thummim inside the Alchemist) to Abraham after he earned a harsh fight. Also, in the novel's prologue, there is certainly allusion to the Greek mythology's Narcissus. This persona brings to our attention that many people are a part of the Spirit of the World. Proof this is shown when the lake mentions "I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banking companies, I possibly could see, in the depths of his sight, my own beauty mirrored" (Coelho, X).

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