Thesis: In Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Odyssey, and Romeo and Juliet, people show perseverance, self-determination, and following their dreams to find their personal legend.
Detail #1: In The Odyssey, Odysseus went away for war, to get home and back to his family he had to persevere and continue no matter what got in the way.“There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.” (Coelho )
Commentary: '"Dear friends, surely we are not unlearned in evils. This is no greater evil now than it was when the Cyclops had us cooped in his hollow cave by force and violence, but even there, by my courage and counsel and my intelligence, we escaped away. I think that all this will be remembered some day too. Then do as I say, let us all be won over"' (Homer 208-213). Odysseus says that now that they have defeated the Cyclops they will have no greater problems and they will be able to continue home. By his courage and intelligence he has got them out of the cave.
Detail #2: In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout is determined to be different, she doesn't want to go to school, she doesn't want to act like the other girls act.“The Boy didn’t know what a person’s ‘destiny’ was… It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young knows what their destiny is” (Coelho 22).
Commentary: "Reckon you're at the stage now where you don't kill flies and mosquitoes now, I reckon," I said. "Lemme know when you change your mind. Tell you one thing, though, I ain't gonna sit around and not scratch a redbug." Atticus wants Scout to act more like a girl and not go around killing bugs anymore. Although Atticus wants Scout to act like a girl, Scout does not want to listen, she wants to be like her brother and do things with her brother but that is not what is expected of her.
Detail #3: In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, both Romeo and Juliet wish to be together even though they know they shouldn't be because of the known feud between the Montague's and Capulet's. Although they know there will be a lot of fuss between families, they want to follow their dreams.“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
Juliet says this when Romeo shall die to cut him in little stars so that she will be able to see him at night and be reminded of him through the stars.
Conclusion: The alchemist can relate to your daily lives, it can persuade and inspire us to find our personal legends.“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.”
Arroyo, Anthony. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Place of Publication Not Identified: Gradesaver, 2009. Print.
Homer, S. H. Butcher, Andrew Lang, and John Adams Scott. The Odyssey by Homer. New York: Macmillan, 1961. Print.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1960. Print.
Shakespeare, William, and Richard Hosley. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. New Haven: Yale UP, 1954. Print.