Essay questions for the alchemist

Why does Santiago leaves his flock in southern Spain to journey across the unfamiliar Egyptian desert, and why does he meets Fatima and the alchemist on an oasis in the middle of it? How does the traditional theme of the conflict of Man versus Nature appear in the novel?

Water and trees abound, and the oasis is literally teeming with life, especially of the human variety. He solemnly prays an Our Father and although he is dismissive of her belief he must find this treasure, it is not due to their religious differences that he is cynical.

He turns to nature as an ally, consulting with the desert, the sun, the wind and finally the hand that wrote all for their help. The boy Santiago is presented as a respectful son, enthusiastic companion, and eager pupil. Although he is tempted to stay on at the oasis as counselor to be with Fatima, he knows the alchemist is right in urging him onward to first finish what he has started.

The contrast in symbolism between the desert and oasis, with the tranquil Spanish pasture and the magnificent Egyptian pyramids at either end of his journey, shows that Santiago has ventured well beyond the metaphor of his own house to truly interact with the world and experience life to the fullest.

It is therefore fitting that Santiago meets both Fatima, the girl he loves, and the alchemist, the mentor who will help him fulfill his Personal Legend, at the oasis of Al-Fayoum.

He at first doubts the meaning of his dream, and hesitates to heed the gypsy fortuneteller in setting out for Egypt. How are intergenerational relationships helpful in leading Santiago to pursue his Personal Legend?

Having left a solitary life tending sheep in relative peace with nature, this betrayal stuns Santiago, who calms himself by touching the magical stones and then falls asleep in the bustling marketplace as though it were an open pasture.

As is revealed in the pages that follow, his literacy has surprised the girl he is returning to see since selling wool to her father the year before.

Like in most stories that include the theme of Man versus Nature, the boy faces the perils of the desert heat and lack of water and even a sandstorm. As he grows during his physical and spiritual quest, he relies on the wisdom and advice of his elders, from his father, the fortune teller and Melchizedek in Spain to the crystal merchant, the Englishman, and above all, the alchemist in Egypt.

Unlike the baker whose youthful ambition to venture further in life was surpassed by his wish for comfort and stability, Santiago is able to prioritize discovery of his own Personal Legend over all else.

What role does reading play in the novel? Although Santiago enjoys the company of the caravan, the overall meaning of the desert is a place devoid of life. Santiago saves the lives of thousands by interpreting his vision for the village chieftains. Thus it is a fellow human, rather than Nature, who first presents the former shepherd with a trial to overcome.

The main obstacles in their way are not sandstorms, but rather the warring tribesmen who continually block their progress. His father in particular encouraged the boy to know what he wants and to pursue his goals.

As the alchemist escorts Santiago toward the Pyramids, they are captured by men who agree to release them if they can turn themselves into the wind.

In The Alchemist, the young shepherd Santiago sets out on adventure, leaving his native Spain to cross the Egyptian desert, where he confronts many challenges.Essay Topic 1.

Describe the various themes in this novel and how they relate to each other. Use supporting details from the text throughout your description. Essay Topic 2. The Alchemist is a modern fable by Paulo Coelho.

The Alchemist study guide contains a biography of author Paulo Coelho, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summa. The Alchemist: very powerful alchemist who lives at the Al-Fayoum oasis in Egypt.

Initially, Santiago hears about him through the Englishman, but eventually Santiago reveals himself to be the Alchemist’s true disciple. The Alchemist dresses in all black and uses a falcon to hunt for game.

The Alchemist (Coelho): Essay Q&A

Starting an essay on Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist? Organize your thoughts and more at our handy-dandy Shmoop Writing Lab.

The Alchemist Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

The Alchemist: 1. In The Alchemist, Santiago learns several important life lessons. Write a reflective piece about a lesson you learned from your reading of the novel that you can apply to your own life.

Sep 18,  · Suggested Essay Topics. How does Santiago’s spiritual journey parallel the alchemist’s practice of transforming metal into gold?

Essay questions for the alchemist
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