What is your Personal legend made of? Tabitha Houska

Thesis: While reading Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, a fantasy book series, a well-known play, and a passionate song came to mind by making connects through legends and lies, love, and perseverance.

" 'So the boy ... the boy must die?' asked Snape quite calmly. 'And Voldemort himself must do it, Severus. That is essential.' . . . 'You have kept him alive so that he can die at the right moment?' " (Rowling 686-687).

" 'It describes people's inability to choose their own Personal Legends. And it ends up saying that everyone believes the world's greatest lie . . . It's this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate' " (Coelho 20).

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling, Dumbledore tells Snape how Harry must die for Voldemort to be fully killed. This is Harry's point for life; to be killed by the hands of the Dark Lord so the wizarding world will be rid of his terror. This scene rang a bell in my head when the King of Salem, told Santiago what his book was about. Harry was unable to choose his Personal Legend because Voldemort attempted to use the killing curse upon him, but his mother sacrificed herself for his life counteracting the curse. If you believe the world's greatest lie, you can most definitely see when Harry loses control of what's happening to him. The King is correct though. Harry has totally control of his life just like us. He comes back from the dead at the end of the book to defeat Voldemort and live a great life afterwards. Relating these two books through legends and lies.

" 'I'm going away,' he said. 'And I want you to know that I'm coming back. I love you because...' 'Don't say anything,' Fatima interrupted. 'One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving' "(Coelho 126).

"ROMEO. Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear/ That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops-/ JULIET. O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,/ That monthly changes in her circled orb,/Lest that thy love prove likewise variable./ ROMEO. What shall I swear by? JULIET. Do not swear at all" (Shakespeare 2.2.107-112).

Santiago's love for Fatima made Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet cross one's mind. Fatima's Personal Legend, being a woman from the desert, was to find Santiago. She doesn't need reason why he loves her just like how Juliet doesn't need Romeo to swear his love to her.

Eye of the Tiger by Survivor lyrics: So many times it happened too fast / You trade your passion for glory / Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past / You must fight just to keep them alive

" ' We are [required], at least once in our lies, to visit the holy city in Mecca. . . . I'm afraid that if my dream is realized, I'll have no reason to go on living' " (Coelho 56-57).

The meaning we see behind the song Eye of the Tiger, by the band Survivor, is to not give up on your dreams and to make them become reality. The crystal merchant wants to go to Mecca, but is afraid that if he does he will have no reason for life after he has finished all that is required of him. When I read about the crystal merchant this song instantly popped into my head. It encourages you to reach what you want in life and to persevere to complete your purpose even if you don't know what you'll do or what will happen afterwards.

Conclusion: While reading the amazing book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, themes of legend and lies, love, and perseverance were seen throughout the novel. I will most definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone so more can see how everyone has a Personal Legend, that the universe lies, you can love without reason, and to make your dreams become true.

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