The Pursuit for Destiny By: Ben Roe-sparks

You can’t achieve your personal legend without first realizing it, pursuing it, and persevering through it. In Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, Santiago has to expand his knowledge to achieve his personal legend. He does this through realizing his personal legend, pursuing his personal legend, and persevering. Other books that use this method include The Giver, Allegory of the Cave, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to compare their journey to achieve their personal legend’s to that of Santiago’s.

Santiago first knew of his personal legend through a dream, although he didn’t know it would turn into his life's purpose, the dream he had was about a girl playing with his sheep. He approached the girl ‘cause he doesn’t like people playing with the sheep because they’re scared of strangers,but when he approached she grabbed his hands, and transports him to the pyramids in Egypt where she tells him he will find a secret treasure near them. But he didn’t decide to pursue his personal legend until he met the Gypsy and the King of Salem (unknowingly). The Gypsy managed to convince Santiago into pursuing his personal legend while they were conversing about his dream by saying "And dreams are the language of God. When he speaks our language, I can interpret what he has said. But if he speaks in the language of the soul, it is only you who can understand." (Coelho 15) and... “And this is my interpretation: you must go to the Pyramids in Egypt. I have never heard of them, but, if it was a child who showed you them to you, they exist. There you will find a treasure that will make you a rich man.” (Coelho 16). He decided after his conversation with the gypsy that he would never again believe in dreams. And the King of Salem furthered Santiago’s interest in pursuing his personal legend by saying "It's what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny... It's a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your destiny. It prepares your spirit and you will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth." (Coelho 24) during their conversation about destiny. Lois Lowry’s The Giver portrays Jonas’ personal legend in a different way. Instead of having Jonas realize his personal legend from the start he learns of it at the end. He realizes that he needs to save Gabriel (a baby that Jonas’ family cares for until the baby is released). Jonas’ learns what release is after being told by the Giver that because he is the Receiver he is allowed to have access to any information he wants. He decides to watch his father release a baby named Rosemary. Jonas’ father releases Rosemary by giving her a shot in her head. Jonas, realizes that a baby being ‘released’ is a baby being killed.

Santiago begins to pursue his personal legend but is deterred after having his money stolen from a thief, whom he believed would lead him across the desert to the Egyptian Pyramids. He begins to work at a crystal merchants shop. Due to Santiago’s hard work the crystal merchants shop if making more than ever before. But the crystal merchant manages to convince Santiago to continue to pursue his personal legend by saying “You brought a new feeling into my crystal shop. But you know that I’m not going to go to Mecca. Just as you know that you’re not going to buy your sheep.” (Coelho 63) (the boy was planning to quit pursuing his personal legend and buy sheep with all of his new money). Bilbo Baggin’s in the book The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien begins his personal legend after receiving a note (which had been hidden under his clock) from fourteen dwarves that had been getting ready for a quest to regain their treasure. The note read “Thorin and Company to Burglar Bilbo greeting! For your hospitality our sincerest thanks, and for your offer of professional assistance our grateful acceptance. Terms: cash on delivery, up to and not exceeding one fourteenth of total profits (if any); all traveling expenses guaranteed in any event; funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives, if occasion arises and the matter is not otherwise arranged for. Thinking it unnecessary to disturb your esteemed repose, we have - 26 - proceeded in advance to make requisite preparations, and shall await your respected person at the Green Dragon Inn, Bywater, at II a.m. sharp. Trusting that you will be punctual. We have the honour to remain Yours deeply Thorin & Co.”. No matter how forced his personal legend was he pursued it.

And the final step in achieving your personal legend is perseverance. Santiago perseveres throughout his journey many times. The most prominent case is when Santiago is told by one of the battling tribes in the sahara desert, that if he is not able to turn himself into the wind he will be killed. He well knew that this was absurd which was demonstrated on page 146 when it was said that “the boy was to frightened to listen to words of wisdom. He had no idea how he was going to transform himself into the wind.” (Coelho 146). But Santiago continued to persevere through his journey to complete his personal legend. Voldemort, although evil, did persevere throughout the series. The most significant event was in the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where voldemort said “Harry Potter,” “The Boy Who Lived.” (Lowry 704). Voldemort then proceeds to ‘kill’ Harry Potter. To give you a little context the line “The Boy Who Lived.” is referring back to Voldemort's first attempt to kill Harry Potter seven years ago. And to add to this amazing case of perseverance, Voldemort attempted to kill Harry seven times throughout the series.

Personal legends are not accomplished without realizing it, pursuing it, and persevering through it. And like the King of Salem said “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” (Coelho 24). The only excuse for you not achieving your personal legend, is you.


Created with images by Police_Mad_Liam - "North Yorkshire Police SKODA OCTAVIA (YJ04 CDU)"

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