The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: A Summary, Reflection and Reaction

Topics: Desert, Alchemy, Novel Pages: 3 (1484 words) Published: January 6, 2015
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: A Summary, Reflection and Reaction

The book The Alchemist was originally written in Portuguese by Paulo Coelho in 1987. To date, it sold 35 million copies and is reigned as the most translated book in the world by a living author. The Alchemist was the second book of the now 67-year old Coelho following his first novel attempt entitled The Pilgrimage. It was Coelho’s second book that made him known worldwide, but amazingly, it just took him a course of one two-week spurt of creativity to complete the novel The Alchemist.

The novel was about one Andalusian shepherd boy’s mystical trek towards realizing his recurring dream of finding his treasure located at the Egyptian Pyramids. Eventually, as he go on through his journey, he learns to speak the "Language of the World" and discovering the essence of alchemy. He meets different people along his way, starting with the fortune-teller whom he asks to interpret his recurring dream that night while sleeping near a sycamore tree in the sacristy of an abandoned church. The lady says he should pursue finding his treasure and when he does find it, he must give her a part of it as payment for her service. The second person he meets is a mysterious old man who seems to be able to read his mind. This man introduces himself as Melchizedek, or the King of Salem. He tells the boy about good and bad omens and says that it is the shepherd's duty to pursue his Personal Legend. Melchizedek then gives him two stones, Urim and Thummim, for him to use when he needs help to interpret omens. The boy decides to follow what the man has said to him and sells his herd to purchase a ticket to Tangier, in northern Africa. But shortly after he arrives there, a thief steals all of his money, so he decides to look for a way to make enough money to return home. He finds work in the shop of a crystal merchant, where after a year he makes improvements that is gratified by financial rewards. He then leaves to...
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