Within the novel, The Alchemist written by Paulo Coelho, a younger man named Santiago from Andalusia, Spain is guided via his quest to find hidden treasure amongst the mysterious international land of Egypt’s deserts. In decoding omens from the universe, Santiago finds it within his soul to complete his Personal Legend and uncover his purpose of existence with the assistance from unique characters along with symbols, geography and irony. Such matters are analyzed through chapters 12, 19 and 26 from the text, How to Read Literature Like a Professor Revised Edition by Thomas C.
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Foster as he reveals frequent methods adapted by authors all through literature. In Chapter 12-“Is That a Symbol” Foster describes the importance of one’s individualistic interpretation to grasp symbols. He acknowledges that there might be a grey area when it comes to symbolism as a end result of our numerous backgrounds and ideologies all affect the greatest way we perceive a message. Foster states, “… components will inevitably affect what we understand in our studying, and nowhere is this individuality clearer that within the matter of symbolism” (Foster 110).
Foster continues to emphasise the countless potentialities that symbols maintain and the way they carry monumental power in literature. The symbols within The Alchemist aren’t any different. In the very starting of the textual content Santiago reveals that he has been having a recurring dream. When he recalls the events main up to his dream, a vital image is exposed. Coelho states, “The roof had fallen in way back, and an unlimited sycamore had grown within the spot where the scarcity had once stood.
He decided to spend the evening there” (5). Sycamore trees play an necessary position in many items of literature. For occasion, in the New Testament, the sycamore tree is a logo of clarity. Since Santiago experiences his dream beneath this tree, it symbolically represents the readability within his own psyche.
The universe is guiding him to his treasure and that’s made clear with the sycamore tree. The sycamore tree can be referenced within the Egyptian work often identified as the Book of Death which demonstrates the connection that ancient Egyptians had with nature. With this information at hand, it becomes evident that the sycamore tree carries another symbolic which means which is to indicate the deep connection that every soul on earth shares. Towards the end of the text when Santiago finally arrives to the pyramids, the robber states “I had a recurrent dream too…In my dream, there was a sycamore growing out of the ruins of the sacristy…if I dug on the roots of the sycamore, I would find hidden treasure” (Coelho 166-167). The roots of the sycamore symbolically present the connection that Santiago makes with both the world and Egypt. The sycamore tree reveals the flexibility that symbols can posses. The tree sparks Santiago’s journey to branch out into a new world whereas additionally providing clarity that permits him to see the world with a clear lense.
In Chapter 19, “Geography matters” from How to Read Literature Like a Professor Revised Edition, Foster emphasises the power that location and geography has in literature. Geography just isn’t merely a background image for a scene. Location impacts the actions and events within a narrative as a result of the characters explicit placement creates particular obstacles. The change in location as described by Foster is typically needed for a personality to discover who they honestly are meant to be; geography poses challenges that permit characters to reinvent themselves and escape their old lives. Foster states, “…, when writers ship characters south, it’s in order that they can run amok” (179). For Santiago, he actually heads south from Spain to Africa in search of hidden treasure. The second Santiago steps into Africa, he begins to have new experiences as he adapts to a new tradition. Each encounter brings Santiago closer to completing his goal and fulfilling his Personal Legend. One of the initial obstacles that Santiago faces is the culture shock of this new world.
The glass service provider whom is first launched on page forty seven assists Santiago by giving him a job, serving to him learn Arabic and assimilate into society. The narrator states, “He was going to overlook the place and all the great issues he had realized. He was more assured in himself, although, and felt as though he could conquer the world” (Coelho 65). It was the boy’s new found confidence and information of the unfamiliar world that constructed the braveness within him to withstand the unyielding and unfamiliar desert. The journey to succeed in the Egyptian pyramids will be lengthy and exasperating but not even the forces of nature will stop Santiago from completing his mission. Coelho states, “But all of this occurred for one fundamental cause: regardless of how many detours and adjustments it made, the caravan moved toward the identical compass level. Once obstacles were overcome, it returned to its course…” (77-78). The willpower within the caravan is reflected by Santiago’s identical willingness to beat his obstacles each physically and internally. The stubbornness of the desert is meant to inflict challenges for Santiago. Without the rigid landscape, there could be no plot or conflict; Geography subsequently turns into the spine of this text.
Chapter 26, “Is He Serious and Other Ironies” helps clarify the intriguing ironies inside The Alchemist. Foster states, “That’s irony-take our expectations and uphold them, make them work against us” (255). The most dumbfounding irony within the alchemist was that the hidden treasure that Santiago was on the lookout for in Egypt was in reality not in Egypt at all. The little boy in the dream, the dream interping Gypsy, the King from Salem and the alchemist all motivated Santiago to head to Egypt in search of the lost treasure and to everyone’s shock, the treasure was not where it was expected to be. When Santiago finally made it to the great pyramids of Egypt he’s attacked by two travelers and robbed. In an try to save tons of his life as quickly as once more, he exposes that he’s looking for treasure in the very spot they are standing due to his recurring dream. The traveler then states, “‘… I had a recurrent dream, too. I dreamed that I ought to journey to the fields of Spain and look for a ruined church where shepherds and their sheep slept…’…now he knew the place his treasure was” (Coelho 167-168).
The treasure was located in his personal homeland all along. Some could say Santiago wasted so much of his time in search of the treasure within the incorrect location, however the real treasure was not the financial wealth that came with historical riches. Santiago’s dream was to journey and see the world and he did simply that. The irony of this situation is emphasised when Santiago’s father states, “‘People from everywhere in the world have handed through this village, son’ mentioned the father. ‘They come in search of new things, but after they leave they are principally the identical people they were once they arrived’’’(Coelho 11). This is actually not true for Santiago. When he leaves Spain for the second time, he is a very new particular person with exotic life experiences, a new outlook on life and naturally he now has treasure.