The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is an allegorical novel that encourages readers to follow their dreams. This novel published in 1988 explains that everyone has an ultimate goal in life, but too many people give up on finding it or never try at all. The main character of the novel, a shepherd named Santiago, has made the choice to pursue his dreams instead of giving up on them. He embarks on a journey for treasure and is not afraid to fail.
Along the way, Santiago encounters many characters, such as a beautiful young woman named Fatima who encourages him to travel in pursuit of his treasure and an old alchemist who acts as a teacher and guide for Santiago. These and the other characters that come upon Santiago fuel his desire to pursue his passion, his journey or what I like to call the true purpose of Santiago’s life and fill him with the knowledge he needs to do so. One of the major themes of the novel that sparked my interest the most was the danger of fear. If one is afraid of failing, they will never muster up the courage to follow their dreams. However, if one overcomes this fear by making their own decisions and venturing out into a world where they are not protected by what they know, they are able to truly embrace their mission. One must be willing meet challenges and conquer them instead of backing down and giving up.
Another interesting topic covered in the novel was that of love. I felt connected to this topic because it reminded me of how loved ones and family members must push someone to do their very best, while also helping that person to overcome any challenges that they may face. As he embarks on his journey, Santiago encounters a stunning girl named Fatima who he immediately falls for. For Santiago, his love for Fatima proved to be a challenge. However, Fatima knew what was best for Santiago and encouraged Santiago to continue on his path in life.
Once Santiago discovered this love for Fatima and knew that she was backing all that he did, there was little that Santiago could not accomplish or pursue. I found it very easy to connect to The Alchemist because it brought forward topics and themes that did not change based on the era or the person. The novel is able to speak to both old and young audiences, which is why I would recommend the book to any reader.
Everyone faces challenges somewhere in their life and everyone has dreams that they want to pursue. However, not everyone has the courage to stay focused and never give up.