Tyler Bagby
World Geography- Hum- 2
10 May 2015
The Alchemist Synopsis Paper
This story tells of a humble shepherd named Santiago that, unlike most other people, is chasing his dream, or "personal legend," as it is called in the book. This tale starts with Santiago telling of a dream he had had for the second time the night before, and he wonders what it means. He continues with life, though, not worrying about it to a large extent, and herds his sheep. The next day, however, he visits a gypsy lady that is said to interpret dreams so he will not have to think about it anymore. However, the old lady tells him that there is a treasure waiting for him in Egypt, where the pyramids are that he saw in his dreams. Later that day, he meets a man known as Melchizedek. This is the man that helped Santiago make the final decision to continue with this search for the treasure after he explains that not everyone gets the chance, or even knows, to follow their personal legend. Santiago sells his sheep, giving six to Melchizedek for helping him make his decision to follow his personal legend, and crosses the sea by boat to get to the city, Tangier, where he meets with a young boy who seems like a friend, but later steels all of Santiago\'s money. The next morning, he sees many good omens and goes to a crystal merchant\'s store, saying that he would clean all of the crystal if the merchant would in return give him food and money. After Santiago finishes this task, the merchant offers him a job. Santiago works there for a year and saves up all his money until he has enough to buy twice the amount of sheep he had before he left for Tangier, and feels satisfied to go back to Andalusia, where he had herded his sheep, but instead, reflecting on Melchizedek\'s words, decides to take the risk and follow his dreams, and goes on to search for his treasure. On the caravan, Santiago meets an Englishman who is in search of an alchemist to teach him the ways of alchemy, and he talks with this man on the long journey, sharing views on many different things. They make this journey under many threats, one of which is a tribal war going on, but make it safely to Al-Fayoum, the oasis at which they stay at. In this oasis is where Santiago meets the Alchemist, who helps him complete his journey to Egypt and teaches him about the Soul of the World. They arrive at a Coptic Monastery, where the alchemist asks the monk if they can use his kitchen, and he turns lead into gold. He breaks the gold into four pieces, giving one to Santiago, on to the monk, and keeping one for himself. He gives the last piece to the monk and tells him that when Santiago is robbed again, because he knows he will, that the monk should give Santiago this last piece. At this point, the Alchemist and Santiago go their separate ways as Santiago continues with his search of the treasure. The boy continues his journey and at least reaches the pyramids, where he kneels and cries at the beautiful sight of his goal achieved. He looks down at the spot where his tears fell, and sees a scarab beetle, which in Egypt symbolizes rebirth, and decides to dig there because of these omens. As he digs, some tribal men from the war come up and ask Santiago for some food, and seeing the piece of gold, beat him up and rob him. As they are leaving, one of the men says that he had a similar dream, dreaming of treasure underneath a sycamore tree in an abandoned sacristy, the same one that Santiago would sleep in when he herded sheep. Santiago then travels back to Andalusia and, finding the treasure, rejoices in his success and decides to go back to the oasis where he met a girl named Fatima.
This book is not simply about a boy who finds some treasure, but a story about following ones heart and dreams. This book is about overcoming obstacles and