The Alchemist by Pual Coelho - Free Study Guide

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The protagonist of a story is the main character who traditionally undergoes some sort of change. Santiago is the protagonist of this novel. It is his story and his maturing and learning about life that composes the plot. Through his trials and tests, we also learn about life. Antagonist

The antagonist of a story is the force that provides an obstacle for the protagonist. The antagonist does not always have to be a single character or even a character at all. The antagonists in this story change at times - sometimes it is the people who give Santiago advice he doesn’t want to hear; sometimes it’s real villains like the thief in Tangier who steals all his money - but for the most part, the antagonist is Santiago himself. He must learn to accept the problems on his journey and not give up. He must accept himself and his own limitations as well as his strengths to persevere and find his treasure. Like many protagonists, he is often his own worst enemy, but in the end, he overcomes adversity and triumphs. The climax of a plot is the major turning point that allows the protagonist to resolve the conflict. The climax comes when Santiago comes to the pyramids, digs on the spot where he sees the scarab beetle, and yet is rewarded by being beaten by some Arabs who want his treasure. It is only at the point that he realizes where his treasure actually is. Outcome

Santiago realizes he must return to Spain after the leader of the Arab refugees who beat him tells him his recurring dream about a ruined church with a sycamore tree growing out of its sacristy. He knows the church, because that is where he had his dream about the pyramids. He returns there and finds a conquistador’s buried treasure under the sycamore tree and determines to take it and go back to the oasis and marry Fatima.

A young shepherd boy named Santiago has a recurring dream about a child leading...
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