What makes the Alchemist an allegory? Con morgan

The main idea of The Alchemist is that one has to be willing to take part in this journey, to leave one's comfort zone, in order to transform what is into what can or should be. Like alchemy, change is a critical ingredient in this philosophy of life. They do not need to be bound by what is. As Santiago observes, they should not like sheep. Rather, the alchemist suggests that a guiding philosophy of life should be to embrace what might be. The pursuit of Personal Legends becomes a major part of this philosophy in which individuals find their voice, act upon their passion, and activate the condition of being that differentiates us from the banal world of animals. The transformation element of life is both critical in alchemy and the alchemist's philosophy on how to live it. For the alchemist's philosophy of life, questions, obstacles, and insecurity are all the necessary ingredients of being in the world.

3 Allegories shown in the book are:

The Sheep

"They never have to make any decisions... The only things that concerned the sheep were food and water" (1.22-23). The sheep are a symbol for people who aren't really into the adventure of seeking their Personal Legend but are way more interested in milling around, snacking on grass.

The Treasure

Just before Santiago digs it up he wonders why he had to travel all the way to Africa if the treasure was in Spain all along. He gets his answer on the wind. "'If I had told you, you wouldn't have seen the Pyramids. They're beautiful, aren't they?'" (Epilogue.6)

Alchemy: Alchemy stands in for something else: personal evolution.Lumping alchemy in with a universal language and world religion shows us that alchemy is another way of understanding the language of the universe in this novel. And later, the alchemist tells us why: The alchemists spent years in their laboratories, observing the fire that purified the metals. They spent so much time close to the fire that gradually they gave up the vanities of the world. They discovered that the purification of the metals had led to a purification of themselves. (2.184) Alchemy is really not so much about being greedy and trying to turn everything you see into gold, but rather about purifying yourself and your soul. While the alchemists of legends, and the one in the novel, are able to turn any metal into gold, Santiago's lesson is about becoming better in-tune with his heart and the universe. It's like the universe is an alchemist, purifying Santiago until he's a precious metal.

Other Examples of Allegories:


Pixar's Wall-E is about a robot who still works and lives on an abandoned Earth, it isn't just a boy meets girl love story. It is also about how two determined individuals try to save the Earth and preserve the last of it's beauty. WALL-E is seen to be the only one surviving plant on Earth. This shows the audience how we can inflict so much damage to our earth. The humans plant the green stem and water it. It gives the audience, and the future of Earth, some hope.

This is one of the more obvious ones, but also one of the more complicated. Games pervade the entire book—from the game of astronauts vs. buggers Peter plays with Ender, to the fantasy game Ender plays at Battle School, to the final test where Ender finds out that all along, the games were the actual war. So, in the end, war isn’t a game…but it sort of is. In relation to The Alchemist, Santiago was mislead by the wind, which lead to the greater good.

Allegory of Prudence

Recently this painting has been explained in quite different ways. Instead of an allegory of prudence, it has been seen as an allegory about sin and penitence. On this view, it amounts to an admission by Titian that his failure to act prudently in his youth and middle age has condemned him to lead a regretful old age. It is related to The Alchemist in the since that they both show that as a child your choice can make way for your future.


Created with images by moohaha - "Sheep" • burnbless - "treasure chest" • RA.AZ - "Orson Scott Card - Ender's Game"

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