The Search for Self: The Alchemist finding your way through life's obstacles

Thesis: Paulo Coelho's allegorical novel The Alchemist stresses the importance of having and achieving your Personal Legend through focus, perseverance, and striving to become better, concepts easily seen through the words of a coach, the inspiration of a rapper, and the wisdom of a Cherokee legend.

Detail #1: "If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own" (Coelho 18).

Commentary: Jim Valvano, a college basketball coach, gave this speech at the 1993 ESPY awards knowing he was dying from cancer. His philosophy on life suggests maintaining a focus on who you are, his legacy relates to The Alchemist.

Detail #2: "...before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we've learned as we've moved toward that dream. That's the point at which most people give up. It's the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one 'dies' of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon" (Coelho 137).

Commentary: Tupac Shaker's poem "The Rose That Grew From Concrete" illustrates the concept of perseverance in our dreams through the symbol of the rose.

Did you hear about the rose that grew

from a crack in the concrete?

Proving nature's law is wrong it

learned to walk with out having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,

it learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete

when no one else ever cared.

Detail #3: " 'It's true that everything has a Personal Legend, but one day that Personal Legend will be realized. So each thing has to transform itself into something better...' 'It is we who nourish the Soul of the World, and the world we live in will be either better or worse, depending on whether we become better or worse' " (Coelho 154-155).

Commentary: The Cherokee legend commonly referred to as "The Two Wolves" elucidates the concept of "feeding the right wolf" in your choices.

Conclusion: So having read The Alchemist it is obvious that life has a purpose and it is worth achieving, because where your treasure is, there also will be your heart.

Created By
Angela Koons


Created with images by Elvert Barnes - "TheRoseThatGrewFromConcrete.TupacShakur"

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