Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Alchemist: Book Review

The Alchemist, written by Paulo Coelho is one of the most influencing books in the modern literature. It tells the story of a young shepherd boy who decides to pursue his dreams and ambitions. He goes through many obstacles and adventures and at the end reaches his dream.
The main themes of the book are faith and the pursuit of dreams. If you believe in yourself and in your dreams and dare to follow your ambitions, the result will always be success. The boy’s wandering and the things he goes through during his travel represent the human life and the obstacles that could arise in the way of any person. The boy never gave up, and here lies one of the most powerful messages in the book- never give up. No matter what situation you get in, keep your eyes on the future and be focused on what you want to achieve.
The book is filled with symbolic figures and events. The boy’s books and the way he exchanges his old one for a new one symbolize the seeking for knowledge. You should always seek for new knowledge and be open to new things. Another symbol in the book are the two little stones the little boy uses when making a decision. They represent the human conscience and the way it helps people distinguish between good and evil; right or wrong.
The settings change constantly, which makes the book very dynamic and interesting. The boy travels and reaches different places, each of which offering new environment and adventures. Another thing that makes the book dynamic is the fast change of actions. Each interesting situation fuses with the next one, there are no ‘gaps’. Thus, the reader is always engaged and eager to see what would come next.
The unexpected ending is actually what gives the sense of the entire book. The boy finds out that everything he was searching for was at the place he started his travel from. However, the fact itself that he decided to follow his dreams and went through so many obstacles and problematic situations to see his dream unveil at the very same place he began his pursuit contains a very deep message. The message is that dreams are actually quite close to reality, every dream can become reality and all that a person has to do is dare to follow it.

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