The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, consists of numerous pieces of advice dealing with universal wisdom. In this novel, Santiago, a shepherd boy, learns and matures on the journey to find his Personal Legend, his life's ultimate accomplishment. He faces many difficult decisions along the way but once he begins to listen to his heart he found love, treasure, and the ability to turn into wind. Like Santiago, a reader can grow to feel more knowledgeable from the words of Coelho because his advice can be accepted and appreciated by all people. The Alchemist expresses beliefs that easily relate to people around the world since at one point or another we all suffer from confusion about our hearts. Coelho beautifully constructed a novel that contains remarkable truths, such as the secrets to suffering, love, and the heart.
Everyone struggles with the idea of suffering, most frighten themselves until they begin to fear taking risks altogether. When Santiago debates with himself about whether he wants to pursue his Personal Legend, because he feared losing Fatima, the Alchemist explains to him that his heart needs to understand "that the fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself. And that no heart had suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and eternity" (130). Santiago's journey surely did not bring upon suffering to him; he learned more about alchemy, found his treasure, and still felt love from Fatima. Ultimately following his dreams brought him closer to God; he literally had an "encounter" with Him when he became the wind. I felt the same as Santiago two years ago before I went to teach a vacation bible school on my mission trip to Canada, I was terrified because I had never done anything comparable to it and I did not know what to expect. I always dreamed of sharing my faith with others and when I went on that mission trip I legitimately felt like I was exactly where I should be. I now...
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