“It’s a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your personal legend. It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth” (22). | This quotation is said by Melchizedek, commonly referred to as the old man. This is the passage that introduces the ideas of one’s personal legend, and the soul of the universe.
Much of The Alchemist is based off that philosophy; dreams are not just something one should push aside, each person needs to focus on accomplishing his or her own fantasy. In addition this is the overall conflict of the book, because the rest of the story is about Santiago trying to accomplish his personal legend: getting to the pyramids to find hidden treasure. He will run into trouble and there will be times when he gives up, but everything that happens along the way will get him one step closer to finding his dream. (Word Count: 125)| | | But I have no idea how to turn myself into wind. ’‘If a person is living out his Personal Legend, he knows everything he needs to know. There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure’” (141). | This dialogue is said at the climax of the book, when Santiago is faced with the challenge of turning himself into the wind. This is a huge conflict in the book. In order for him so save his and the alchemist’s lives he will need to transform into wind and produce a wind so strong it will blow down the whole camp.
This is also teaching Santiago a very important lesson. He cannot back away from something just because he is scared of failing. If he ever gets to the pyramids and the treasure is not exactly where he thinks it is, he will have to be able to search for some sort of sign from the soul of the universe and keep searching for it. (Word Count: 126)| “But I have no idea how to turn myself into wind. ’‘If a person is living out his Personal Legend, he knows everything he needs to know.
There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure’” (141). | This quote was particularly appealing to me because of the emphasis is puts on one’s Personal Legend. Santiago will never be able to do it, nor will the Englishman because even if it is his dream, he tries to read book instead of searching for the answer. If Santiago had just read books about the treasure at the pyramids, he never would have found the treasure or Fatima. He would have been a poor shepherd with a big dream and a whole bunch of sheep. In order to do something like that, you really have to want it and be willing to take sacrifices, and that is exactly what Santiago did. (Word Count: 113)| “When the pan had cooled, the monk and the boy looked at it, dazzled. The lead had dried into the shape of the pan, but it was no longer lead. It was gold. ‘Will I learn to do that someday? ’‘This was my Personal Legend not yours’ the alchemist answered. ‘But I wanted to show you that it was possible’” (155). | |