The Alchemist Study Guide

The Alchemist Study Guide

Original title:
O Alquimista
May 1st 1993 by HarperCollins (first published 1988)
Egypt, Sahara Desert
ISBN 0061122416 (ISBN13: 9780061122415)

It’s worth reading “The Alchemist” just to see what Paulo Coelho is capable of writing in just two weeks of time. It didn’t happen immediately after publishing, but like many of the other author’s creations, the book became a bestseller and is now available to read in over 70 languages. It has even found its place among the self-help book sections due to its content.

A young shepherd named Santiago saw a dream about a big treasure that will make him rich and happy for entire life and is now traveling to Egypt to find it. He sold everything to buy a ticket and took only two stones with him, which he had been given by a mysterious elderly man to interpret omens. 

And maybe his life would have turned out differently if he weren’t ambushed and all his money weren’t stolen. Looking for ways to make enough to return home, he accidentally finds a job that makes him even richer than he was before. 

Still unsure of what to do next, he joins a group of people who search for an alchemist in the desert. They want to learn the art of turning any metal into gold. On top of the famous Alchemist, the boy meets the love of his life. In the very end, he finds the treasure but not where he was looking for it. 

The book teaches us that to reach one’s destiny is hard work. And the journey doesn’t always conclude at the final destination yet each step of the way was necessary to gain a certain knowledge, experience or skill. And the most difficult challenge is not to fight the enemies on your way. The most difficult part is to listen to one’s heart and be courageous enough to follow one’s instincts.

Overall, the text is exciting, easy to read and, most importantly, very inspirational. After reading it you will be left with a feeling that everything is possible, it’s only a matter of wanting it sincerely and strongly. 

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