The Alchemist

Topics: Force, Emotion, Psychology Pages: 3 (1175 words) Published: August 23, 2013
The Alchemist was written by Paul Coelho, and there were many themes embedded within its text. The two main themes that stand out throughout the novel are forces of nature and emotions. More specifically, the main theme is how nature as well as human emotions plays important roles during Santiago’s journey. Some of the featured emotions are fear, hope, desire, and love. Also, some of the forces of nature involved are the sun, wind, the desert, and God. During Santiago’s journey to find his own Personal Legend, all of these things work together in order to aid him on his important journey.

One emotion affecting Santiago on his journey is fear. Quoting the novel, literary critic Anna Hassapi brings out “fear of failure seems to be the greatest obstacle to happiness. As the old crystal-seller tragically confesses: "I am afraid that great disappointment awaits me, and so I prefer to dream".” This passage illustrates the impact that fear can have on one’s journey. When it comes to reaching success on a mission or quest, there is either success or failure. In the novel, Coelho brings out that the fear of failure can be very strong in some, causing them to give up and just “prefer to dream” (Coelho). On his journey, Santiago learns to embrace his fears, and he doesn’t allow them to prevent him from reaching his goals. This is a key lesson for him to learn. As Coelho himself mentions in the novel, “We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property”. This goes along with the fear that Santiago would have if someone were to come along and take his sheep away. This constant fear needs to be overcome by Santiago if he is ever going to complete his mission.

Another emotion affecting Santiago on his quest is love. Love particularly comes into play with Santiago’s feelings towards Fatima. At one point, Santiago even considers marrying her and living his life out with her on the beach, but the alchemist advises him that this would...
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