Course Hero. "The Alchemist Study Guide." Course Hero. 4 Oct. 2016. Web. 19 Sep. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Alchemist/>.
Course Hero. (2016, October 4). The Alchemist Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 19, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Alchemist/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "The Alchemist Study Guide." October 4, 2016. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Alchemist/.
Course Hero, "The Alchemist Study Guide," October 4, 2016, accessed September 19, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Alchemist/.
Learn about allegory in Paulo Coelho's novel The Alchemist with Course Hero’s video study guide.
The Alchemist is an allegory, or a story that reveals a deeper, hidden meaning. Often the purpose of an allegory is to teach a moral lesson or principle. Allegories can take many forms—short stories, novels, poems, and even pictures—and convey any number of hidden meanings through character archetypes, character development, dialogue, settings, plot, and other elements. Some archetypes Coelho employs are:
In The Alchemist, Santiago's journey from his home in Andalusia reveals deep insights about life and self-discovery. His trip is not simply a physical trek. It is an archetypal hero's journey, combining physical movement and changes in setting with changes in the hero's ideas, knowledge, and beliefs. These archetypes, present in hero stories from around the world, were identified by American researcher Joseph Campbell in his influential work The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Thus, the hero takes a spiritual journey as well as a geographical one. The stages in Santiago's journey include:
Santiago completes his hero's journey and returns home transformed by the wisdom he has gained along the way.