The Alchemist Essay

1148 words - 5 pages

Everyone will learn many important lessons throughout his or her life, especially when one is in the process of achieving his or her lifetime goals. For instance, in Paulo Coelho’s fable, The Alchemist, Santiago learns numerous lessons from both his own experiences and various people during his journey towards his Personal Legend of finding treasure at the Egyptian Pyramids. Paulo Coelho’s use of the three modes of persuasion, ethos, pathos, and logos, reveal that we must make sacrifices and take chances in order to fully realize our goals.

Santiago’s trust in knowledgeable and respected figures helps him to realize what he must forgo in order to achieve his Personal Legend. For ...view middle of the document...

On the whole, Santiago’s trust in respected and informed individuals helps him to discover that he needs to give up certain things in order to achieve his Personal Legend.

Paulo Coelho also describes poignant events to evoke a feeling of sympathy in order to illustrate what one must sacrifice in pursuit of his or her dreams. Before Santiago even became a shepherd, “he had studied Latin, Spanish, and theology. But ever since he had been a child, he had wanted to know the world, and this was more important to him than knowing God” (8). Even though Santiago and his family were assuredly delighted that he has been learning so much in school, Santiago realized that he needs to give up all of his education for him to be what he wants to be. Afterwards, when Melchizedek tells Santiago about the miner that he had helped out in the past, he says, “The miner had abandoned everything to go mining for emeralds…the miner was about to give it all up…and there, embedded in the broken stone, was the most beautiful emerald in the world” (24). Santiago can relate to the miner’s story because he is also searching for a treasure and has to abandon his sheep, so he learns that he will need to make sacrifices but that he will eventually succeed in achieving his goals if he does not give up. Finally, when Santiago starts traveling with the alchemist, he feels gloomy because he has realized that “to continue his search for the treasure meant that he had to abandon Fatima” (118). Santiago is forced to choose between his true love and his Personal Legend. However, Santiago ultimately decides to search for his treasure because he now understands that he must make some sacrifices in order to get what he wants. Overall, Paulo’s Coelho’s use of emotional appeal has taught both Santiago and the audience that we must make certain sacrifices in order to reach our goals.

The logical thinking and reasoning of Santiago and the people he meets on his journey teaches the audience the importance of taking chances. For example, when the dream interpreter tells Santiago that she will charge him for the consultation, he thinks, “Another trick…But he decided to take a chance. A shepherd always takes...

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