Analysis of "The Alchemist"
“The Alchemist” is a novel about a young boy named Santiago who goes on an adventure to find a hidden treasure. Santiago was a shepherd even though his father wanted him to be a priest. His father gave him some money, and he went off to travel the world as a shepherd boy. This made him such a unique character for doing something different from everyone else. When Santiago was a shepherd, he had begun having a reoccurring dream that there was hidden treasure for him. This was one of the first dreams that he had that led him on a journey of a lifetime. The omens and dreams throughout the novel effect the story’s plot, and how Santiago travels throughout his adventure.
The first time that Santiago ever had a dream was when he was a shepherd, tending to his sheep. He had to sleep in an abandoned church with his head on a book. He had the same reoccurring dream twice in a row, about how a child had led him to the Egyptian Pyramid, and how there was treasure for him there, but he always woke up before it ended. Santiago travels through Spain, his homeland, so he has no idea where the Egyptian Pyramid even is. Despite not even knowing where the Egyptian Pyramids were, he decided to try and figure out what his dream meant. He decided to visit a village, and there, he had a Gypsy try to interpret his dream. She told him that there was treasure at the Egyptian Pyramid, and he must go find it. This lit a fire in Santiago, and he decided that he would find this treasure. In the same city, he proceeded to talk to an old man, who was actually the king of Salem. He claimed that he could help Santiago find his treasure. He told Santiago that he had discovered his “Personal Legend”, which is what every individual wants to accomplish in their life. The king of Salem said that Santiago’s “Personal Legend” was to find the treasure at the Egyptian Pyramid. The old man also talked about “Beginner’s Luck”, which is what happened when Santiago sold all of his sheep almost immediately. “Beginner’s Luck” is a taste of success when a person begins their “Personal Legend” and aspires to achieve it. The old man told him he must follow the omens to achieve his “Personal Legend”. The man then gave him two stones, one black, and one white, named Urim and Thummim. The black stone meant “yes”, and the white meant “no.” The man said if he was unable to read the omens, he could ask the rocks for an answer.
The next time there was an omen was when Santiago was farther into his journey, when he had made it to Africa. He had just gotten robbed by someone who he had thought was his friend, and he was feeling extremely down. At this moment, he went through his pockets to feel the two stones. He thought about selling them and getting a return ticket home, but then realized he couldn’t do that. He felt a warmth and power with the stones, and this was an omen. “Am I going to find my treasure?” he asked. Both stones fell onto the pavement through a hole in his bag. The boy knew this was an omen, and he felt stronger thinking of the old man. He worked hard at the crystal shop, thinking that he was making money to buy more sheep and become a shepherd once again. Then, he realized that this was not what he wanted, and he decided to use his money to go to the Pyramids. After almost a year of working at the crystal shop, he departed for his “Personal Legend.”
The next omen that Santiago had was when he arrived at the oasis. He saw two hawks in the sky and then suddenly had a vision. “As it did so, a fleeting image came to be boy: an army, with its swords at the ready, riding into the oasis.” Santiago was shaken by this omen but went to the chieftain of the oasis and told him about his omen. His omen was correct, and the chieftain rewarded him because of this. Santiago then went with the alchemist through the desert and finally made it to the Egyptian Pyramid, through many trials and tribulations. One of the final omens that Santiago received was when he had made it to the Pyramid. He had started to dig at the base of the pyramid when several refugees from the tribal wars demanded money from Santiago. They found a piece of gold and assumed he had more hidden in the hole. When there was no more, they beat him. Finally, Santiago told them about his dream and the children laughed. One man told of his dream, and Santiago realized where the treasure was. “Two years ago, right here on this spot, I had a recurrent dream, too. I dreamed that I should travel to the fields of Spain and look for a ruined church where shepherds and their sheep slept. In my dream, there was a sycamore…if I dug at the roots of the sycamore, I would find a hidden treasure,” on page 168 of “The Alchemist”. And at this moment, Santiago realized where the treasure had been all along, and the man who told him the dream had told him. It was at the first church he slept at.
In conclusion, all of these events that included the omens and dreams led Santiago to finding the treasure he longed for the whole story. Even if it took him years, if he had not listened to those omens or dreams, he may have never found the treasure. The omens lifted him up when he was in bad spirits. The dreams led him to the treasure. The omens and the dreams affected the storyline, and if there were no omens or dreams it would have been a completely different story. Without these, Santiago may have never found the treasure.