The Alchemist: a tale of personal growth

By Marielle Hankerson

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is an incredible story about the journey of life with a protagonist named Santiago who is trying to achieve his personal legend.

Santiago goes on a treasure hunt, to put it simply, but the book is so much more than just a treasure hunt: it is a spiritual journey for Santiago and the reader.

Coelho develops some of the most interesting ideas about life that seem fictional, but he is able to make these ideas seem true to engaged readers.

The Alchemist is inspirational because as a reader I feel like I am truly involved throughout Santiago’s journey to his treasure and path to personal growth.

Throughout the book, deep and intricate messages and metaphors clearly represent Coelho’s skills as a writer. Additionally, stories that are in the book serve as lessons for Santiago that were incorporated into Santiago’s journey.

There is an aspect of romance in the novel, but it is not one of the main focuses, and it seems like it was randomly thrown in towards the end of the novel.

Interesting historical facts provide a contribution to the story; specifically, the historical reference that is most exciting for me is the allusion to Santiago Matamoros, which was a Catholic hero in Spain during the Reconquest. Coelho uses it to identify the prejudice that Santiago had as a Spaniard when he arrived in Morocco.

This is a kind of  book that every person could read and find a different meaning, or the same person could read it multiple times and come to a new realization each time.

One line from The Alchemist that reverberated with me is: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”