The Alchemist

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THE ALCHEMIST
BY PAULO COELHO

BOOK ANALYSIS
(CRITICAL PAPER)

THE ALCHEMIST
BY PAULO COELHO

I. INTRODUCTION
The Alchemist is one of the most popular novels that became known in the past twenty years made by Paulo Coelho. It is a story about the searching of happiness and destiny which is called “personal legend”. It has endeared its author to thousands of readers worldwide. It was originally published in Portuguese in 1988. However, the novel’s translation into English and republication in 1993 made the work an “overnight” financial success. It remains on several best-seller lists every year.

The Alchemist is the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy that satisfied to wander through the Spanish fields and towns with his faithful flock until a he dreamed twice about finding his treasure at the Pyramids of Egypt that make him to get up from quite life. Santiago abandons his shepherd life to this adventure of discovery. He crosses from Spain into Tangiers and further, paying attention to the omens and overcoming difficulty along the way.

Paulo Coelho's story is a short and simple one, an inspirational parable about the importance of pursuing one's dreams. Originally published in 1988 in the Brazillian author's native Portugese, it has since be seen translated in close to 70 languages and has become one of the best-selling books in history. The Alchemist is a enjoyable reminder for anyone who feels they have become distracted from pursuing their own Personal Legend. II. CONTENT

A. Bibliography of the book
The Alchemist is the most beloved books of Paulo Coelho. It has sold more than 21 million copies worldwide and has been a number one bestseller in thirty nine countries not only in Brazil, Spain, and Latin American countries, but in France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan, and most recently in Russia. It has 163 pages two parts with introduction and epilogue.

B. Structure of the book
CHAPTERS:
Introduction:
The Alchemist can be understood as a roadmap to finding Santiago’s treasure, both physical and spiritual. Like the four corners of the earth, there are four points of contention through which the protagonist must travel in order to find his treasure: overcoming the fear of hurting those he loves, facing the reality of defeats, and dealing with the reality of successes.
Part I
Santiago’s story begins in an abandoned church, the place where the young shepherd has taken refuge for the night. As pleasant as life is with the livestock, Santiago longs for more and thinks back to how he arrived at this place in his life. He wanted to travel but met with confrontation with his father, who warned his son that almost everyone who seeks “new things” winds up disappointed. But still, Santiago refused to surrender. If a shepherd’s life would let him travel, then that is what he would do. He gave up his studies and became a shepherd.

But the shepherd’s life is not fulfilling. He decides to visit a gypsy woman in hopes of having her interpret a dream about Egyptian pyramids and buried treasure twice. The old gypsy promises to tell him what the dream means if he swears to give her ten percent of whatever he finds. Santiago agrees. She tells him to go to the pyramids and what he finds there will make him a rich man.

Disappointed with her lack of details, Santiago went to the city. His thoughts are interrupted by a mysterious old man who offers to tell Santiago how to find the treasure if he will give him one tenth of his sheep.

The man reveals that he is actually the King of Salem. He says that Santiago has succeeded in discovering his Personal Legend and explains that when one is on his proper path, everything in the universe conspires to help.

Part II

Santiago has been employed in the shop for nearly a month. Although he has learned much about the world, he realizes that it wasn’t exactly the kind of job that...
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