THESIS: Paulo Coelho's metaphorical book The Alchemist pries at the idea of following your own path much like in the story of an epic hero, the inevitable fate of two star crossed lovers, and the dream of a young chef. All tied together with perseverance, self awareness, and believing yourself.
DETAIL #1: "The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better." (Coelho 139)
Odysseus says to his men before encountering one of the many horrifying beasts, "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 116). Teaching his crew that not everything in life is going to be easy and that we must fight through these trials to have our greatest outcomes.
Commentary: Homer writes about the journey of Hero Odysseus that lasted over twenty years expressing the true meaning of perseverance in his novel The Odyssey. Much like Santiago's quest to find himself and his treasure or "Personal Legend" while he was tested numerous times so he could fully comprehend the true meaning of his destiny.
Detail #2: "The secret of happiness is to see all her marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of spoil on the spoon." (Coelho 32)
Juliet says to the Friar, "If all else fail, myself have power to die." (3.5, 46) proving that the two lovers had an overview of their doomed fate but their love ran to deep to be tampered with.
Commentary: In Shakespeare's poem Romeo and Juliet and Coelho's The Alchemist fate is a reoccurring point to ones life and to realize that we must first know what we want from it.
Detail #3: "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." (Coelho 156)
Commentary: In the scene taken from Disney's Pixar, Ratatouille, the leader of this kitchen creates an nontraditional meal for an important costumer but has a belief in himself that he will be able to make it unique and an exquisite dish to serve. Much like when the Alchemist explains to Santiago that when you put your mind to something and have faith the universe does everything in its power to help you reach such goals.
Conclusion: After reading The Alchemist it is clear that each and every individual has a set destiny and one can reach the end of that path with perseverance, self awareness, and having faith in yourself.