Comparison Between Paulo Coelho and the Alchemist's Santiago

Topics: Paulo Coelho, Way of St. James, Santiago de Compostela Pages: 2 (784 words) Published: April 7, 2013
The Alchemist is a novel written by Paulo Coelho, a Brazilian novelist, and it was first published in 1988. It is about a boy named Santiago who left his work as a shepherd, his hometown in Spain, and even his love to pursue his lifelong dream, or as stated in the book, his Personal Legend. This novel in one of the top bestselling books in history, and is also the most translated book by any living author according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The novel also reflects the life of the author himself. As both the author and the fictional character pursue their Personal Legend, the encountered the same obstacles and went to the same parallels to achieve it. Their travels, the thought of not achieving their dreams, and the realization of their Personal Legends were visibly the parallels between these two.

Both Santiago and Coelho went to travel to pursue their dreams. In the novel, Santiago chooses the noble job of being a shepherd because he always wanted to travel. He wanted to see how people in other lands live. Even though, his father at first didn’t like the idea, telling Santiago that these places where all these people live were just the same as their town in Andalusia, he supported his son, giving him gold coins to buy him a flock of sheep. After his escape from a mental institution, where his parents sent him after knowing his dream of being a writer, Coelho joined the hippie movements condemning Brazil’s repressive military regime, traveling through South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe and started drugs in the 1960s. His pilgrimage in Spain’s 500-mile Road of Santiago de Compostela was his life’s turning point. There he realized that he really wanted to be a writer. His book, The Pilgrimage: Diary of Magus, was written after that. The character of Santiago in The Alchemist was also named after the road.
At one point in their lives, both Santiago and Coelho were doomed by the thought of not...
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