Women are in a constant battle, not for an upper hand, but for mere equality. Coelho’s Fatima eagerly encourages the man she loves, Santiago, to leave her and fulfill his Personal Legend. This is an act that seems to emphasize Fatima’s belief that Santiago’s happiness is more important than hers, which seems to allude to an equality between the two characters. This characterization of Fatima may cause readers to question the narrative’s view on women. Fatima’s willingness to let Santiago continue with his journey while...
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... like all desert women, knows that just because Santiago must leave, it does not mean that he does not love her. Fatima is not resigning herself to stay behind and play the role of dutiful wife or girlfriend; she is merely prepared to wait for her treasure to return to her after he has found his.
The character of Fatima may not be explored at great depths in The Alchemist, but with her, Coelho has created a complex, strong feminine character. By using Fatima, the narrative is not making a statement about inequality, submissiveness, or resignation in regard to the role of women. Rather, the narrative is making a statement about the power of women and their love and the power of love in general. Santiago is willing to give up his dreams for love and because of love Fatima will not let him.
Coelho, Paulo. The Alchemist. New York: HarperOne.1998. Print
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