The Alchemist: The Imagery Used In Coelho’s Book

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer


‘The Alchemist’, a book from Paulo Coelho, creates a very set mindset for the reader; and that is ‘new ways of thinking’. He creates and brings distinct characters to life through his personal experiences, like the hardship he went through trying to publish his book. Like his own personal legend, which was to get a successful novel published. Coelho uses narrative techniques in his book to furthermore enhance the reader’s understanding of personal legends, trust, and persistence. The book is about a shepherd who wants to unveil the depths of his personal legend, or his treasure. On the journey, he overcomes many obstacles and never gives up, and in the end is rewarded with true happiness and the indefinite meaning of life.


Coelho uses techniques such as personification to inspire the reader and develop the idea of trust. The boy made both good and bad decisions in who to trust, take the scammer he met at Tangier. But in the end, the bad decisions also helped him, as he, later on, thinks more carefully about his actions. The eagles in the desert are another motive that the boy trusts and follows, which shows the boy good and bad events that lie ahead.

Personal Legend

In ‘The Alchemist’, Coelho tries to create a very fixed thought on personal legends, and how the journey teaches you more than the destination. Those who are thinking only of the future will never do as well as those in the present. In the context of the book, this means those who aim only for the treasure at the end of their personal legends, will never succeed as those who focus and the present and journey. This is shown by the Englishman, he was so focused on the books about alchemy ( his personal legend), but never his desert surroundings (the journey) that of which the boy took notice of. Therefore making the alchemist believe the Englishman was not ready to reach his personal legend. The crystal merchant is an example of someone who didn’t follow their personal legend, instead, he dreams of other’s reaching theirs’s. ” Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” – is very like to the crystal merchant’s personality. The flock of sheep were another symbol of people who didn’t follow their personal legend. They were very simple and followed a certain routine every day: eat, drink, and sleep.


Near the beginning of the boy’s quest for his personal legend, a new guy approached the boy and said he could help him reach the Pyramids. He told the boy: “ We could get to the Pyramids by tomorrow, but I’ll have to buy two camels.” The boy handed over enough money to buy the camels, but the new guy was never to be seen again, but did he give up on his personal legend? No, he continued to pursue his personal legend  


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