Personal Legend

In the novel, The Alchemist, it reiterates the idea of pursuing your Personal Legend to gain complete happiness in life. A personal Legend is a calling within your spirit that triggers a desire to live with a purpose. The author develops this theme by telling a story of a young man by the name of Santiago, who tries to live out his Personal Legend. Santiago has a dream that there is treasure for him in Egypt and is determined to find it. He goes on this journey and comes home with more than he bargained for.

After Santiago is exposed to his dream, he goes to a gypsy for an interpretation where she tells him that there is indeed treasure. He then meets Melchizedek, a king, who gives him two stones that will be used to help Santiago interpret omens. An omen is a prophetic significance or a ‘sign’ of some sort of event that is bound to happen. He sets off on a his journey where he faces many trials. In the desert, which plays a role as a teacher and a trial for him, he is robbed leaving him completely broke. There, he meets a crystal maker where he is given a job so he can earn money to continue on his journey. In this part of the story, the crystal maker and Santiago represent different paths that people may take. The crystal maker lives in a comfortable lifestyle neglecting his personal legend because of fear and complacency. In addition to this, being able to let go of a comfortable lifestyle is where we can see the most growth in an individual’s life.

Santiago now accompanies a caravan in which he meets an Englishman, studying alchemy and looking for the Alchemist. During this time, Santiago learns to listen to his heart and the environment. He is then encountered with an omen of two hawks attacking each other. He interprets it as the city being in danger, so he takes the news into the city. They hold them there and that’s where he meets Fatima, a woman who he falls in love with immediately. While they stay in the city for a few days, he confesses his love for her and meets the alchemist. The Alchemist, in search for someone to teach, makes Santiago his protégé. The Alchemist directs him to his personal legend but Santiago is hesitant because he feels content with the wealth he has gained and the woman he loves. Although, he is urged to continue on his journey. Santiago has learned to trust in himself and his surroundings and has become more confident in connecting with the Soul of the World. When Santiago finally reaches his treasure near the pyramids, he has not only gained jewels and valuable materials but he has also accomplished his personal legend.

Often times too many people want to reach their goal and receive their treasure without actually living out their legend. Santiago has learned to trust in the things of nature, emphasizing the theme of unity upon the elements of nature when he speaks with the wind, desert, and the sun. He takes home experience, knowledge, wealth, and through it all he’s found love. “Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the language of the world.”