Listening to the Heart Throughout the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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The most important lesson that the main character of the book, Santiago, learns from his journey is that if one wants to follow their dreams, then they must first listen to their heart. This is the most important lesson that Santiago learns because it helps him to understand the world around him and achieve his dreams. Earlier in Santiago’s life, he does what he wants in becoming a shepherd but after he accomplishes that, he goes through a day by day routine without much excitement. Finally, Santiago learns of his personal legend, and sets off on a quest to find the treasure at the end of the rainbow. During Santiago’s journey, he begins to question himself and why he is attempting this insane trek. He sees his life as useless, “no hope, no adventure, no old kings or personal legends, no treasure and no pyramids. It was as if the world had fallen silent because [Santiago’s] soul had.” (Coelho 47) He realizes, through the help of others, that he is following his dreams because that is what his heart is telling him to do and that he needs to “listen to [his] heart. It knows all things.” (Coelho 127) He has always does what he wants to do and never really thinks twice about what he is doing, but if he wants to finally follow his dreams, then he must learn to listen to his heart. The Alchemist, Santiago’s teacher, tells Santiago that “[he] will never be able to escape from [his] heart.” (Coelho 129) Santiago must learn to realize that his heart truly just wants the things that are best for him. As Santiago continues on his journey, he understands that his heart is only trying to help him whenever it can and it has never tried to hurt him. Throughout his quest across the desert, Santiago continues to try to listen to his heart but finds that “as they moved along, he [Santiago] tried to listen to his heart. It was not easy to do” (Coelho 128) and the boy finds that the harder he tries to listen to his heart, the easier it becomes. The boy and his heart are finally...
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