The Alchemist In the story “The Alchemist”, by Paulo Coelho, Santiago makes great change from beginning, to the end of his journey. From the start, Santiago is just a shepherd of a small flock of sheep, but when he learns of his personal legend, all of this changes. There are many major turning points, leading up to when Santiago finds his treasure and realizes his personal legend. Could any of the signs in the novel also lead up to the question, “Is Santiago a true alchemist?”
From the beginning of Santiago’s journey, he has always been practicing alchemy, without even knowing it. An example of Santiago practicing alchemy would be when he decided that he did not want to be a priest, but a shepherd. While going against what was wanted of his parents, his father showed acceptance by giving him three ancient Spanish gold coins. Santiago states “Well, then I’ll be a shepherd!” . Another example of Santiago practicing alchemy would be when he decides to figure out what his dream means. He says in the story that it’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting. With surprise, “He had suddenly remembered that, in Tarifa, there was an old woman who interpreted dreams” . Just from the beginning of the story, we can already see that Santiago has changed, and is using alchemy in his own type of way without even realizing it. In the middle of Santiago’s journey, he shows true promise in figuratively becoming an alchemist. While Santiago works for the crystal merchant, he introduces new ideas to the merchant, that would make his shop even better and bring in more customers. Santiago tells the merchant, “I’d like to build a display case for the crystal” . Later, he mentions to the merchant that they should sell tea in crystal glasses because the people that climb the hill would complain that it was impossible to find a decent place to get something to drink after such a climb. Also…

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