The Alchemist Book Summary – The Alchemist tells the story of a young shepherd named Santiago who is able to find a treasure more valuable than he ever imagined in his wildest dreams. In his search, Santiago learns to listen to his heart and, more importantly, he realizes that his dreams, or his Personal Legend, are also part of the Soul of the Universe.
Santiago is a humble sheepherder with few aspirations: he just wants to be free to explore the fields with his sheep, with some wine and a book as luggage. However, fate gets in the way of a recurring dream about a great treasure hidden thousands of miles away, at the base of the Pyramids of Egypt. Upon meeting Melchizedek, a wise and mysterious man who claims to be the king of a very distant land, Santiago decides to go in search of this treasure. The next day, he sells his sheep and embarks on his journey to Africa in search of his dream.
Upon arriving in Africa, Santiago realizes that things will be more difficult than he had imagined. On his first day in Tangier, Santiago is robbed of everything, and he cannot speak a word of Arabic. At first, consider giving up and going home. However, remember the words of the wise Melchizedekand decides to continue, and for that, he gets a job in a glass shop.
After working in the crystal shop for a year, and also learning more about life and his Personal Legend, Santiago raises enough money to buy new sheep and go home. However, at the last minute Santiago decides to risk everything and join a caravan heading to Egypt. Once in the caravan, Santiago meets an English man who has gone to Africa in search of a famous alchemist.
As they travel through the desert, the Englishman tells Santiago about the secrets of alchemy. He finds the ideas of English very similar to those of the wise Melchizedek. They both speak about the Soul of the World with which we are all connected, and also about an individual’s need to fulfill their Personal Legend. However,Santiago prefers to learn about these secrets by observing the world while the English prefers to do so through complex books. As they travel, they hear rumors of an approaching tribal war.
When they finally reach the oasis of Al-Fayum, the home of the famous alchemist, Santiago meets a beautiful young woman named Fatima with whom he quickly falls in love. Santiago realizes that love, as well as his Personal Legend, comes directly from the Soul of the World. While walking through the desert, Santiago has a vision about a future battle that is coming. He hurries back to the oasis to alert the elders in charge, and when his vision proves to be true, he is appointed a counselor. Santiago considers staying in the oasis with Fatima, but the Alchemist finds him and tells him that he will take him to his treasure.
Again on the road, the Alchemist teaches Santiago to listen to his heart. Hearts can be treacherous, but the best way to avoid being fooled by them is to listen carefully. Almost reaching the pyramids, Santiago and the Alchemist are captured as prisoners by one of the warring tribes. The Alchemist tells the tribesmen that Santiago is a powerful sorcerer who can turn into wind.
The men are impressed and promise to spare their lives if Santiago can prove it. The only problem is that Santiago has no idea what he is doing. After three days of meditation, Santiago uses his knowledge of the Soul of the World to ask the elements for help. First he asks the desert for help, then the wind, then the sun, and finally the Soul of the World.Immediately the wind blows and Santiago appears and disappears on the other side of the field.
The Alchemist separates from Santiago, who continues his journey alone towards the Pyramids. Once there, he is attacked again by thieves. When they ask him what he does there, Santiago tells them about that dream in which the treasure is hidden at the base of the pyramids. One of the thieves makes fun of him and tells him that he had the same dream, only that in his dream the treasure is buried in Spain. Santiago realizes that the treasure has been in Spain all that time.
The story advances to the future, when Santiago digs a well in the shade of the tree under which he had his first dream. He soon finds a chest full of gold: enough for him and Fatima to live happily for a long time.
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