The Theme of Personal Legend in Fiction: A Walk to Remember and The Alchemist

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

Whether you want it or not, everyone has a purpose in life. According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of “purpose” is “the thing that something is supposed to achieve”. In other words, it is the one thing you have always knew you wanted to achieve deep within you, and it is the only thing that will give you true enthusiasm and excitement. The novel titled The Alchemist (1988), written by the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, is about personal legends. Paulo Coelho was born on August 24, 1947, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His parents wanted him to become an engineer, but he strongly believed his personal legend was to become an author. Paulo Coelho’s novel titled The Alchemist (1988), Nicholas Sparks’ novel titled A Walk to Remember (1999), and Richard Bach’s novella titled Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1970) effectively demonstrates the theme of personal legend.

To begin with, the theme of personal legend is present within the novel titled The Alchemist (1988). The novel is about a young, adventurous Andalusian shepherd named Santiago trying to achieve his personal legend. The story starts with Santiago being bothered by a recurring dream. Every time he sleeps under a sycamore tree which is grown in the ruins of a church, Santiago dreams of the same dream. During the dream, a child tells Santiago to look for treasure at the Egyptian pyramids. Believing a recurring dream to be prophetic, Santiago consults a gypsy for the interpretation of the dream. The gypsy tells him that there is a treasure in the pyramids. Early into his journey, he gets introduced the idea of a personal legend by a strange old man named Melchizedek, who claims to be the King of Salem. Melchizedek tells Santiago that a personal legend is “What you have always wanted to accomplish” (Coelho 23) . He refers to personal legends as “your mission on earth” (24). The novella Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1970) written by Richard Bach is a story about a young seagull with big ambitions. The story starts with the protagonist,

Jonathan finding his life exceedingly meaningless. Then Jonathan discovers his personal legend: To fly. This gave his life a meaning. Jonathan tests his limits by pushing himself to fly at tremendous and risky speeds. Jonathan defies his parents and spends all his time practicing flying. He repudiates their belief that a seagull’s sole purpose is to eat and instead studies the mechanics of flight. Because he destroys his relationship with the flock, Jonathan becomes an outcast. Eventually, Jonathan reaches a higher plane of perfection, and he returns to his flock to teach the ambitious among them what he knows. In conclusion, the theme of personal legend is present within Paulo Coelho’s novel titled The Alchemist (1988), Nicholas Sparks’ novel titled A Walk to Remember (1999) , and Richard Bach’s novella titled Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1970).

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