The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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Santiago guides his flock throughout the fields of Andalusia. He finds an old abandoned church and churchyard where he and his flock can spend the night. He sleeps on the stone floor using his book as a pillow. He anticipates his approach the Andalusian village where, one year prior, he met a merchant's daughter. Santiago and his flock approach the town. He has been herding this flock for two years. He often reflects about what he has learned from his sheep and what they have learned from him. He observes that the sheep depend fully on him to lead them to food and water. Not having to forage food for themselves, they have forgotten their instincts.
Santiago thinks about the beautiful merchant's daughter. He imagines explaining to her why he knows.....
Santiago thinks about his discussion with the old man. He is annoyed that the old man was right about his being on the verge of giving up just as he finds his destiny. Wandering around the city, he approaches a ticket seller, but he does not buy a ticket to Africa, where he knows the Egyptian pyramids are. He knows that he could buy a ticket with the money he could make from selling only one of his sheep. As he stands at the ticket window, he decides to go back to shepherding his flock. He muses that neither the old gypsy woman nor the old man understand what it means to have a flock of sheep depend on them.
As Santiago imagines staying on with his flock, the wind intensifies......
Santiago begins working for the crystal merchant and receives a good commission for selling each piece. He wants to make more money in order to buy some sheep and realizes that it will take him a year at the rate he is going. He offers to build a display case to place outside and attract more customers. The crystal merchant does not like things to change, and he resists Santiago's attempt to change things. After some reflection and discussion, he gives Santiago his approval to build the display case.
Within two months, the display case is a big success, bringing many customers into the shop. In another six months, Santiago will be able to afford to return home and buy twice the amount of sheep. Working in the shop, he has.....
The caravan rolls on toward the oasis. As the Englishman attempts to observe the desert and learn its language, Santiago reads the Englishman's books and learns about alchemy.

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The Englishman tells him that the goal of alchemists is to purify metal by heating it for many years until all its individual properties are burned away. The substance left over is called the Soul of the World. This is the language in which all things are said to communicate. The discovery itself, he says, is called the Master Work. When Santiago hears this, he asks why they do not simply observe men and omens and learn about the universal language that way. This comment irritates the Englishman, who declares that Santiago oversimplifies everything.
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The tribal chieftain tells Santiago a story about the tribe's tradition, which says that the oases are neutral ground and therefore safe from attack. However, he assures Santiago that they always listen to the omens of the desert, and so he tells him that the next day they will break the commitment of carrying no arms at the oasis and be on the alert for enemies. He promises to reward Santiago with gold pieces if he has read the omens correctly.
Santiago leaves the chieftain and encounters a powerful, intimidating stranger on horseback, who terrifies him at swordpoint. The stranger turns out to be the alchemist, who demands to know who is reading the omens in the hawk's flight. He is testing the boy's courage, which he says is the essential.....
At the start of this part of the journey, Santiago expresses his fear and doubt to the alchemist. He tells the alchemist that his heart must be a traitor because it fears the journey ahead. It tells Santiago that he has already found his treasure, referring to Fatima's love, and it wants him to go back. The alchemist says he thinks that is a natural reaction for a heart to have, now that Santiago is following his dream. He tells him that his heart is afraid of suffering and of losing what it has won. They discuss the importance of listening to the heart.
Crossing the desert, Santiago learns to accept his heart as it is. He lets go of his fear of following his destiny and stops wanting to return.....
On the third day, the chief and the tribesmen gather to watch Santiago turn himself into the wind. He begins to talk to the desert in earnest, explaining his problem and asking for its help. The desert and he discuss the nature of love. The desert recommends that the boy ask the wind for help. The wind asks him where he learned how to speak to the desert and the wind. Santiago says he speaks many languages that his heart taught him.
Santiago arouses the wind's curiosity by suggesting that if the wind helps him, they will be able to talk about all their limitless possibilities. The wind likes this idea. It wants to help and is frustrated that it cannot. It recommends that Santiago ask heaven for help and creates.....
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