* Mundane Wisdom
Book review of “The Alchemist”
Regine Carlo N. Alvarez
The theme of the phenomenal novel “The Alchemist” written by Paulo Coelho revolves around dreams, symbols, and adventure. It tells of a young shepherd named Santiago who travels around Andalusia and once dreams of a treasure hidden in the pyramids of Egypt. It is a book full of wisdom and life lessons used to achieved one’s dreams and fulfill self-happiness.
The story opens in the mythical region of Andalusia in Spain. The shepherd travels along this place to feed his sheep and to sell wool to merchants. There he finds peace in the familiarity of the place, until his dream is interpreted by a gypsy woman and meets the King of Salem (Melchizedek). After this, he goes to Africa to pursue his dream.
Santiago continuously lives in Africa to earn money. After eleven months and nine days, he travels throughout the desert to find his treasure in the pyramids. Upon arriving in Al-Fayoum, he seeks to follow his dreams and there he meets the alchemist.
“The Alchemist” has seven main characters. The first to appear is the protagonist who in the novel, Santiago, he is a young shepherd who travels around Spain (Andalusia); the mysterious old woman in the novel; appears to be a gypsy; Melchizedek; the King of Salem who is full of knowledge and wisdom. He tells Santiago to pursue his dreams; the crystal merchant who the shepherd meets in Tangier. Santiago works for his shop for almost a year to earn money; the Englishman who studies alchemy and meets Santiago in the caravan going to Al-Fayoum; Fatima, a desert woman he meet in the oasis. Santiago immediately falls in love with her; lastly, the alchemist, the shepherd meets the alchemist in the desert and helps him to finally find his treasure in the pyramids.
All the six characters are bound to aid Santiago to find his “Personal Legend” in different ways. Melchizedek (King of Salem) and the old...
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