Performing Miracles: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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English 2x, Per. 2
17 August 2010
Performing Miracles
In the novel The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, the main character, Santiago, seeks out his personal legend. His personal legend is to go to the pyramids in Egypt to find the treasure he has dreamt about. Throughout his long journey across the desert, he learns many lessons of great significance . In one particular scene towards the end of the novel the chief of a tribe believes Santiago and the Alchemist to be spies of an enemy. The chief threatens to take Santiago’s life away if he fails to turn himself into the wind. I chose this scene for the visual project because of the importance it has in the novel, what the scene symbolizes for Santiago, and how it shows that Santiago changes as a person.

I chose the scene where Santiago turns himself into the wind because of the importance it has in the novel. Without this scene readers would never know if Santiago truly understands alchemy and his whole reason for being. It shows Santiago all he has learned during his journey and puts him up to the ultimate test with his life on the line. The alchemist tells him, “the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way…It does this so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream” (Coelho 132). By turning himself into the wind, it is obvious Santiago has mastered the lessons learned.

Another reason I chose this scene is because of what it symbolizes for Santiago. When Santiago asks the alchemist why he has to listen to his heart, the alchemist responds, “Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure” (128). To turn himself into the wind, Santiago has to understand the language of the world, and it is his heart that has to teach him that. He shows he believes in himself, and in everything he has learned. He is now ready to finish his journey on his own. When he turns himself into the wind,...
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