Thesis: In The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, the relationships we have influence our choices and decisions, as also seen in Star Wars, Harry Potter, and The Bible.
Detail 1: “ 'Why are you telling me all this?'
'Because you are trying to realize your Personal Legend, And you are at the point where you’re about to give it all up' ” (Coelho,25).
Commentary: The king acts as a mentor to Santiago by telling him that if he doesn’t pursue his Personal Legend he might not get another chance. It is apparent that the king’s advice influences his decision to go to The Pyramids and to start the journey of his Personal Legend; not unlike Ben Kenobi did for Luke in Star Wars.
" 'You must learn the ways of the Force, if you're to come with me to Alderaan'
'Alderaan? I'm not going to Alderaan, I've gotta get home, it's late, I'm in for it as it is!'
'I need your help, Luke. She needs your help. I'm getting too old for this sort of thing.'
'Look, I can't get involved. I've got work to do. It's not that I like the Empire; I hate it, but there's nothing I can do about it right now...It's all such a long way from here.'
'That's your uncle talking.'
'My uncle...how am I ever gonna explain this'
'Learn about the force, Luke.'
'I can take you as far as Anchorhead...you can get a transport there to Mos Eisley or wherever your going.'
'You must do what you feel is right.'
A few scenes later this exchange occurred. " 'There was nothing you could have done, Luke, had you been there. You'd have been killed too, and the droids would now be in the hands of the Empire.'
'I want to come with you to Alderaan. There's nothing for me here now I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father.' "
Detail 2: “ I can always go back to being a shepherd, the boy thought. I learned how to care for sheep, and I haven’t forgotten how that’s done. But maybe I’ll never have another chance to get to the Pyramids in Egypt” (Coelho,66).
Commentary: The glass merchant described to Santiago the joy people had returning from Mecca after they had pursued their dreams. Hearing this story Santiago recognized that if he didn’t continue on with his Personal Legend he would become unhappy, just like the glass merchant. This encouraged him to continue onward to the Pyramids. In Harry Potter, Hagrid acts as the glass merchant by telling Harry about his identity, past, and opportunity to be like his parents.
" 'Hagrid,' he said quietly, 'I think you must have made a mistake. I don't think I can be a wizard.'
'Not a wizard, eh? Never made things happen when you was scared or angry?' " (Rowling,58)
Detail 3: “ The boy fell to his knees and wept. He thanked God for making him believe in his Personal Legend… And above all for his having met a woman of the desert who had told him that love would never keep a man from his Personal Legend” (Coelho,165).
Commentary: Santiago fell in love with Fatima when visiting her village on the way to the Pyramids, and was willing to give up on his Personal Legend to be with her. Luckily, Fatima understands the importance of Santiago’s Personal Legend and told him to continue on, and that she will wait for him once his journey is completed. If Fatima hadn’t told Santiago to continue on, he would have never found his treasure or be able to understand the Soul of the World. Just like Santiago took Fatima’s advice, Abraham does the same with God’s, in The Bible.
Genesis 22:1-2 "Sometime later, God tested Abraham's faith. 'Abraham!' God called.
'Yes,' he replied. 'Here I am.'
'Take your son, you only son--yes, Isaac, whom you love so much--and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.' "
Genesis 22:11-12 "But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, 'Abraham! Abraham!'
'Here I am,' he replied.
'Do not lay a hand on the boy,' he said. 'Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.' "
Conclusion: To conclude, the choices and decisions we make are influenced by the relationships we have with others as shown in The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Without the connections we make with other people, our lives would be dull and our choices would never be the same. As Robert Meehan once stated, “It’s the little conversations that build the relationships and make an impact on each person.”