Your Personal Legend A Journey Through Life

Thesis: The novel The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho strongly exhibits Santiago following his Personal Legend by perseverance, sacrifice, and love; as seen in a more modern tale of The Odyssey, a classic tale of a man wanting to return to his family and a song that tells of a journey.

Detail #1: “…whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth," (Coelho 24).

Commentary: Just like Santiago, Ulysses in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?also seeks a treasure of sorts, "You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek. But first... first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril. You shall see thangs, wonderful to tell... I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation." . The Blind Seer predicts this at the beginning of the movie. Ulysses and his two friends persevere during their entire journey to get to their 'treasure' just like Santiago does with his Personal Legend.

Detail #2: “We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions or our property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand” (Coelho 79).

Commentary: Just like Santiago, Odysseus from Homers The Odyssey faces many sacrifices, "Zeus at the same time thundered, hurling his bolt against the ship...Out of the ship my comrades fell and then like sea-fowl were borne by the side of the black ship along the waves; God cut them off from coming home" (Homer 121). In this instance, Odysseus loses the rest of his men when Zeus hurls a lighting bolt at Odysseus' ship. Odysseus also sacrifices seeing his wife and child when he goes to fight at Troy. Santiago faces some similar situations, like having to leave Fatima behind to continue searching for his Personal Legend.

Detail #3: "...Instead, it brought the scent of a perfume he knew well, and the touch of a kiss -a kiss that came from far away, slowly, slowly, until it rested on his lips... 'I'm coming, Fatima,' he said" (Coelho 171).

Commentary: Like Santiago, the man in the song Home by American Authors, also dreams of getting back home to the person he loves. "Back to my mama who raised me up right; And back to my lady, I held every night; It's a long hard road trying to get home; I'd been gone now for too long." The man dreams of love on his journey home, which can be perceived as his Personal Legend, while Santiago also often thinks about the merchants daughter while traveling as a Shepard, thinking that he is going to marry her and have an okay life, before he meets Fatima.

Conclusion: The film O Brother, Where Art Thou, Homers The Odyssey, and the song Home by American Authors, all show correspondence with The Alchemist, in the idea that you use perseverance, sacrifice and love to follow your Personal Legend just like Santiago, in your journey through life.

Created By
Vanessa Dunham


Created with images by Moyan_Brenn - "Desert"

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