book summary of “ The Alchemist ” by Paolo Coelho

Book summary: “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coelho

Book summary: “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coelho


Living has different meanings to different people. Some just want comfort and a routine life, and others want to discover their own destiny. Paolo Coelho talks about the second category in his book “ The Alchemist ”. This work, which is full of points and adventures, can be a lasting flip for wandering souls. If the voices of your heart are still there and you are looking for a way to discover your destiny, stay with us until the end of this conversation.

Santiago, a shepherd who loved to travel

The story of the alchemist is about a young man named Santiago. He is a literate shepherd who travels with his sheep in the Andalusian plains. No pasture is hidden in the vicinity of his gaze.

His sheep are well aware that wherever Santiago is, fresh grass can be found. He was very interested in reading. In fact, he was not supposed to be a shepherd from the beginning.

He was educated in a monastery, and his parents, who were poor farmers, dreamed of their son becoming a priest. However, when it came time to choose, Santiago told his father that he was not interested in the clergy and wanted to travel.

His father’s efforts to satisfy him went nowhere. Eventually he made his way to the unknown plains of Andalusia with a few sheep he had bought with his father and some books.

Shepherd’s repetitive dream and its simple interpretation

Santiago had a recurring dream every night. In his dream, a little boy would come among his flock of sheep and play with them. Then he comes to Santiago, takes him by the hand, takes him to the pyramids of Egypt, and says, “You will find your treasure here.”

Yet just before Santiago can see the exact location of the treasure, he falls asleep. The story of this repetitive dream had made him very curious.

Eventually his heart went out to sea and he decided to ask the old woman who lives in the village to interpret his dream. According to locals, he was aware of the science of dream interpretation.

Santiago goes to see the old woman, but the only thing he is arrested for is a partner. The old woman, after hearing the story of the dream, tells him that he must travel to Egypt and take out the treasure, but before she can speak, she promises Santiago to give him a tenth of the treasure. The shepherd of our story was not arrested for anything more than the old woman knew. He felt that it was just a fraud and his time was wasted.

He walked to a corner of the square and tried to focus on the book he had just picked up. Meanwhile, an old man sat down next to him and started talking. Santiago tried to get rid of him with high-pitched answers, but the old man did not give up and kept asking questions.

A Deal on the treasure’s location

Finally, Santiago decided to pack up and go somewhere else to find some peace. As soon as he got up, the old man said: “I will show you the place of the treasure. Give me a tenth of it instead!”

Santiago thought that this old man was the husband of the old woman who had come to him to interpret the dream.

For this reason, he was incensed and wanted to speak sharply but he saw that the old man had written the whole story of his life on the ground from the time he was studying in the monastery until today, when he came to interpret his dream. Apparently there was no trick and the old man knew something.

The deal was made and Santiago decided to give him a tenth of his sheep instead of the treasure map the day after. When Santiago asked him why he had changed his mind and wanted a tenth of the sheep instead of a tenth of the treasure, he replied, “Perhaps you will appreciate it more when you see that you have really paid a price for it.” The old man said this and disappeared into the crowd.

Travel to Egypt, the land of strange traditions and languages

Travel to Egypt, the land of strange traditions and languages

Finally the day of the deal arrived. Santiago, who had decided to travel to Egypt, sold the rest of his sheep to a friend before leaving, except for the old man’s share.

Then he went to the place and gave his six sheep to the old man. In response, he heard the same words he had heard from the old woman yesterday. With the difference that the old man was a little more generous than that wretched lady, and gave him two black and white stones which were characteristic of finding signs.

Soon, Santiago found himself on a boat heading for Egypt. When he set foot on the ground, he came across people who spoke Arabic and their wives covered their bodies everywhere except their eyes.

Santiago saw that at certain times, someone shouted over a hill, and the others brought themselves closer to him, bent down slightly, and suddenly threw their faces to the ground. The men gathered in the cafeteria and drank bitter tea instead of wine.

He walked and was surprised. He remembered that in his own country these people were called infidels. Infidelity and religion have different meanings in each nation, depending on their view of the world. Now the place had changed and he was considered an infidel among the believers there.

When the thief finds a path through the port

Santiago went to one of those cafes to have some rest. He was thinking about finding a way to get to the pyramids. Suddenly a young man came to him and started greetings in Spanish.

Santiago was surprised that an Arab spoke his native language. The two talked for a while and it was decided that this young man would take him to the pyramids as a guide. They went to the market together to purchase camels.

Unaware that this young man was nothing more than a thief, he picked Santiago’s pocket in a matter of seconds. Now he was left with empty pockets, an unfamiliar country and people who spoke a foreign language.

Soon, again, someone climbed to the top of the hill, read something aloud, and suddenly all the people in the bazaar threw their faces to the ground. Just a few minutes later, everyone in the market gathered their work and business and left.

Angry, tired and ashamed of his simplicity, Santiago stood somewhere in the middle of the field. He could no longer bear the situation and cried. He cried from the bottom of his heart and was disappointed in God. why in one day he was transformed from a shepherd with 60 sheep into a poor man in a foreign country.

When his tears were gone, he remembered the stones the old man had given him. He realized that he had not become so miserable and poor. He packed up and waited until tomorrow morning to finish the journey he had begun.

The story of Santiago meeting a man who sells glass

It was morning. The market came to life again. The shepherd of our story walks through the unfamiliar streets of Egypt without knowing where he is going. He was hungry and had eaten nothing but a pastry offered by a pastry shop.

Suddenly he was nailed in front of a shop. An inscription was pasted on the shop’s glass mentioning: “Foreign language is also spoken in this shop.”

Santiago looked at the shop’s window. The soil rose from the top of the glass. A thought came up to him. He took a deep breath and went inside the shop. He offered the glass seller to clean his shop in exchange for some food.

The shopkeeper did not say anything. Santiago did not wait for an answer. He set to work very quickly and lit all the crystal dishes behind the window. In the meantime, several customers came in and bought.

Around noon, Santiago asked the shopkeeper for some food. They both went to the cafe together and ate. The shopkeeper offered a job for him. Santiago told him he wants working a day or two and was going to the pyramids with the money raised.

He soon realized that if he stayed here for a year and wiped his handkerchief, he would still not be able to cover the cost of traveling to the pyramids. In an instant, all the enthusiasm he had accumulated with a thousand efforts in himself was gone. Now he was back to square one. Moneyless, unmotivated and speechless among strangers.

Santiago’s undisputable offer

Santiago accepted the offer of the glass seller. He decided to stay and work until he could buy a herd again. He gave up the dream of the pyramids and finding the treasure, and his only happiness was being able to return to his former state.

Months came and went one after another. Now Santiago could speak to the people in Arabic. The goodies and fresh ideas he gave caused the crystal-clearing shop to return to its heyday.

The shopkeeper, who was very pleased with the situation, also involved Santiago in the sale. Now the stolen coins were returned to Santiago’s bag one by one. He made so much money that he could buy 120 sheep instead of 60 and trade with Africa.

Santiago decided to return to Spain. As he was gathering his clothes, his eyes fell on the shepherd’s robe. The same clothes he wore on the first day of his arrival in Egypt.

He remembered another important thing; stones! He remembered the old guide, the dream of traveling to the pyramids and finding treasure. Something deep in his heart led him to his dream.

He thought to himself that he could always return to Spain, become a shepherd, and even always sell crystals. But he cannot always go to the pyramids. He made his decision. Now his destination was no longer Spain. He was walking towards the pyramids.

Step by step to find destiny

Santiago went to one of the caravans, which apparently wanted to go to the pyramids of Egypt. Along the way he met an English searcher.

The man wanted to find an Arab alchemist who had mastered the secret of a long life and the knowledge of turning metal into gold. It was a long way.

Danger threatened their lives. Nevertheless, the force that made their hearts beat was stronger than all the fears they knew.

While they were in the middle of the road, it was reported that the desert tribes were at war with each other. Every caravan that came their way tasted the sharp taste of the sword.

The head of the caravan did his best to bring the people of the caravan and their cargo safely to the nearest neutral area. In that case, they would have a chance to survive. Because it was official among the tribes not to encroach on neutral areas.

After several days and nights of walking in fear, the nearest neutral area finally appeared in front of the caravan. Everyone was happy and could not stop being overjoyed.

The caravan leader gathered the people of his caravan to say a few words to them. It was decided that they would stay in the same village until the war broke out.

In addition, since carrying any weapon was forbidden in the village, all caravans had to deliver their swords, daggers or pistols to special individuals. Thus, there was a major delay in Santiago reaching the pyramids.

The love that awaited Santiago in the oasis

The love that awaited Santiago in the oasis

Each caravan went to a separate tent. After a short rest, the Englishman followed Santiago to look for the alchemist together. Finding the alchemist was the main reason for the Englishman’s trip.

He wanted to learn how to convert metals to gold. They trampled on the whole oasis. However, there was no news of the alchemist. Nobody wanted to hear about him. As they searched, Santiago and the Englishman approached a well where the ladies of the oasis would gather to fetch water.

Santiago tried to talk to one of the ladies. “You should not talk to women in black,” one of the woman said after a very brief explanation. “They woman in black are marries and this is not right in the oasis to talk to them.”

The two waited near the well until a woman in colorful clothes finally came to fetch water. Santiago reached out to her.

But instead of earning the alchemist badge, he found himself lost in the girl’s eyes. Finally, after a short pause, he dared to ask the girl’s name. Her name was Fatima. Santiago fell in love with her in a blink.

Santiago’s soulmate

The Englishman, seeing that the water from the young boy’s pot was not warming up, walked away. The shepherd of our story waited the next morning, hoping to see Fatima again, somewhere near the well.

Suddenly he saw an Englishman looking at the desert. The Englishman told him that the alchemist had come to see him last night. Of course, he had not been taught anything other than what he knew.

The alchemist had told him to try again. The Englishman had the mood of a time when Santiago had given his sheep to the old man, and again he had taken over the old woman’s repetitive professions.

At the same time, Fatima came to fill the jug. Santiago told her without hesitation that he loved her and wanted to be with her for the rest of his life. Fatima was shocked and spilled water on the ground.

From that day on, Santiago spent the nights hoping to say a few words to Fatima early in the morning. One day, the head of the caravan informed the people of his caravan that the time of the end of the war was unknown and that it might take years.

Everything was prepared for Santiago to give up his dream of reaching the pyramids and treasure, to become a shepherd again, and to start a new life with Fatima in the oasis. But one thing changed everything.

The hawks that brought the news of the war

Santiago was sitting on the sand, thinking about living in an oasis when his eyes fell on two hawks. They were flying right over his head. Following their flight pattern, Santiago became hypnotized and suddenly saw an army of Arabs rushing towards the oasis.

He rushed to the head of the caravan and told him the story. Contrary to Santiago’s expectations, the head of the convoy was not surprised at all. Instead, he told him that he should talk to the chief of the tribe. Because the final decision is up to him.

Santiago mustered the courage to tell the chief of the tribe. After a long conversation between the Arabs, it was decided that they would be ready for battle. But they considered two options for this preparation.

The first option is to give Santiago gold in exchange for people killed by the enemy if someone really attacks the oasis. The second option was activated if no one was attacking the oasis. In that case, it was Santiago who had to lose his life.

Fear gripped Santiago. He hurried to Fatima’s tent. He wanted to say goodbye to her before it was too late, when suddenly a man on horseback appeared in front of him, a stranger. The stranger asked Santiago; “Who dared to reveal the secret of the hawks?” “It was me,” Santiago responded. The stranger pulled out his sword and raised it. Santiago did not flee and, in disbelief, prepared himself for death.

The stranger put the sword to his forehead but did nothing. The stranger told Santiago that if he survived tomorrow, he would come to him. Then he disappeared as fast as he had come. That stranger was an alchemist.

The next day, 2,000 warriors came to the oasis. But they could not do anything. Because the oasis men were already ready. All those soldiers were killed by the men of the oasis. The chief of the tribe kept his word and gave gold to Santiago in exchange for the soldiers killed. Now he was richer than ever.

Santiago and the two-way choice

Santiago and the two-way choice

That same evening, Santiago headed for the address he had received from the alchemist. Finally, after the moon rose, the alchemist was found. The two went together to a tent in the middle of the desert.

It was decided that the alchemist would help Santiago to go to the pyramids and find the treasure. But Santiago could not leave Fatima. He was very valuable to her. The alchemist told him that true love will never stop you from progressing.

Fatima, who told you before, you have to finish your search. Santiago returned to the oasis. He went to Fatima and told her the whole story. Fatima openly encouraged Santiago to pursue his question and see the pyramids with the alchemist.

The next morning, Santiago went to see the alchemist. Both times they closed the trip and moved towards the pyramids. The journey ahead of them was full of danger. The closer they took, the closer they got to the heart of the war.

It was almost at the end of their journey that a group of Arab warriors blocked their way and said that if they wanted to continue on their way, they had to do whatever they could. Alchemist and Santiago allowed.

As the Arabs searched the alchemist’s bag, they found an egg-like device and a yellow liquid. The alchemist told them that these are the stones of philosophers and the elixir of life. The Arabs thought he was crazy and laughed a lot. Then permission was issued and they were able to continue on their way.

Meet the pyramids and find the treasure

The alchemist and Santiago arrived at a monastery. There they were greeted by a monk. Using the philosophers’ stones, the alchemist made some gold and divided it between the monk, Santiago and himself. Because Santiago’s gold had been looted by the warrior tribe. The next day, the alchemist and Santiago said goodbye. Due to the fact that there was nothing left until they reached the pyramids.

Santiago followed the sound of his heart and was finally able to see the pyramids. He was very surprised by the size and glory of this structure. He recalled that the old man and the alchemist had told him about the symptoms. At the same time he saw beetles moving in front of his feet.

Those beetles were considered a kind of god in Egypt. Santiago accepted this as a sign and started digging. There was no use. His hands were injured and his body was tired.

Suddenly, the shadow of three people fell on him and the hole. They were desert thieves looking for gold. They stole all the gold the alchemist had given him and forced Santiago to continue digging. Because they thought that if treasure was found, they would get rich easily. But there was no treasure. The bandits also beat Santiago.

“Do not waste your time in this desert,” the leader of the bandits told Santiago before he was released into the desert. There is no treasure. I myself often dreamed that in an old church, under a fig tree, where a shepherd with 60 sheep slept, lay a treasure. “But I never care about those dreams.”

Santiago knew the place and the sleeping shepherd well. It took him a while to get back to his country and the same old church. When he arrived, he dug under a fig tree and got a box full of jewelry. Now he could go to Fatima with his treasure. What Santiago searched for was hidden not in the pyramids of Egypt, but in the nearest and most familiar place of his life. For understanding this simple concept, he suffered a lot.

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