Learn from another writer… (2)

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Santiago, the shepherd boy from Andalusia, Spain, decided to pursuit the treasure he was dream about all the way to The Pyramid of Egypt. A gypsy dream teller, an old man who claim to be the King of Salem, a Crystal merchant, an Englishman, the camel driver and finally the Alchemist himself are the people who help him along the way. Even Fatima, the woman of the desert whom he fall in love with, encouraged him to go after his dream. The words: omens, Personal Legend, Language of the World, Maktub, Soul of the World, the Master Works, Urim and Thummim were used a lot in this books to describes the passion and power that lead Santiago to reach for his dream. It’s a very interesting book, and some of the lines I like are:

about his keen of book

1.he swept the floor with his jacket and lay down, using the book he had just finished reading as a pillow. He told himself that he would have start reading thicker books: they lasted longer, and made more comfortable pillows. (Page 3)

His view about relationship.

2. The boy knew a lot of people in the city. That was what made travelling appeal to him – he always made new friends, and he didn’t need to spend all of his time with them. When someone sees the same people every day, as had happen with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. if someone isn’t what others want them to be, the other become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.(page 15-16)

His feeling when he was in deep trouble.

3. When I had my sheep, I was happy, and I made those around me happy. People saw me coming and welcomed me, he thought. But now I’m sad and alone. I’m going to become bitter and distrustful of people because one person betrayed me. I am going to hate those who have found their treasure because I never found mine. And I’m going to hold on to what little I have, because I’m too insignificant to conquer the world. (page 39)

When he gain back his confident to pursuit his treasure.

4. He suddenly felt tremendously happy. He could always go back to being a shepherd. He could always become a crystal salesman again. Maybe the world had other hidden treasure, but he had a dream, and he had met with a king. That doesn’t happen to just anyone! (page 65) 

When she met Fatima the dessert woman.

5. And the boy sat there by the well for a long time, remembering that one day in Tarifa the Levanter had brought to him the perfume of that woman, and realizing that he had loved her before he even knew she existed. He knew that this love for her would enable him to discover every treasure in the world. (page 94)

The feelings of Fatima about the desert has change.

6. From that day on, it was the desert that would be important. She would look to it every day, and would try to guess which star the boy was following in search of his treasure. She would have to send her kisses on the wind, hoping that the wind would touch the boy’s face and would tell him that she was alive. That she was waiting for him, a woman awaiting a courageous man in search of his treasure. From that day on, the desert would represent only one thing to her: the hope for his return. (page 123)

One thing we all must know.

7. “No” the alchemist answered. “What you still need to know is this: Before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World test everything that has learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lesson we’ve learned as we moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one “dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’ “Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested” (page 132)

I think I will continue to read the writings of Paulo Coelho, who was original came from Brazil. He was born in August 1947 and began his writing career by published a series of comic strips in 1973. Although he was consider not normal by his own parents and went through a therapy in a mental institute, Paulo never surrender his dream and become one of the best writer in Brazilian literary history. He is just like Santiago the shepherd boy who finally found his treasure. The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries, the Fifth Mountain, Eleven Minutes, and The Witch of Portobello are some of his collection we have in our library.

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