Spiritual Journeys in Novels

Like it or not, the world around us is huge. Even humans are in the billions and they’re only a speck of dust in the history of the universe. It‘s an oven/whelming challenge to understand and figure out your role within this world. but it starts with yourself. Finding yourself spiritually can lead you to find the truth in everything around you. In Paulo Coelho‘s The Alchemist, the main character Santiago goes on a spiritual journey that leads him to understand the Language of the World and helps him fulfill his Personal Legend and find his treasure.

In JD. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey, the main characters Franny and Zooey also go on a spiritual journey, sparked by their older brothers, to find purpose in the world and overcome the negativity against the human race. There is a striking similarity in that respect. but the novels still have differences. In The Alchemist and Franny and Zooey, both novels express themes involving spirituality.

However, The Alchemist focused on spiritually understanding and being in harmony with the world, while Franny and Zooey focused on spiritually loving and appreciating the world, despite its problems, through characterization, setting, and dialogue. Through characterization, The Alchemist and Franny and Zooey show different ways of expressing spirituality and the spiritual journey. In The Alchemist, Santiago is an upbeat character. He‘s persistent, optimistic, and goes to great lengths to follow his dream. This perseverance led him to be able to discover and understand the world around him.

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and find his treasure as well. In Franny and Zooey, the main characters Franny and Zooey are the complete opposite.

Their attitude was very peSSImistic, and they behaved rudely and negatively to the people around them. At first, they even believed the spirituality they had been taught only screwed up their lives and made them freaks. “Looking around, he sought his sheep, and then realized he was in a new world. But instead of being saddened. he was happy. He no longer had to seek out food and water for the sheep; he could go in search of his treasure. instead. He had not a cent in his pocket. but he had faith. He had decided, the night before. that he would be as much an adventurer as the ones he had admired in books.” “We’re freaks. that’s all. Those two bastards got us nice and early and made us into freaks with freakish standards. that‘s all. We‘re the tattooed lady. and we‘re never going to have a minute’s peace, the rest of our lives. until everybody else is tattooed.

Santiago carries a cheerful. never-give»up spirit. while Zooey (the one speaking in the quote) and Franny carry a disheartened spirit. Both of these attitudes lead them to the end of their spiritual journey. however, Santiago wouldn‘t have understood the Language of the World without his enthusiasm and all the negativity between Franny and Zooey led them to finally realize the true meaning of the spirituality they‘d been taught: love everything in the world, no matter who or what it is. Through setting. The Alchemist and Franny and Zooey expand upon and strengthen their different ideas of spirituality. The Alchemist goes across many settings. showing Santiago’s journey to understand the world. while Franny and Zooey have a much more simple spiritual endeavor. taking place mostly within their own home. “I’ve learned things from the sheep, and I’ve learned things from crystal. he thought.

I can learn something from the desert too. It seems old and wise”. “The Glasses’ living room was about as unready to have its walls repainted as a room can be seven scrapbooks of newspaper and magazine clippings had been bracketed. at the bindings. directly into the plaster. Year after year, plainly. all seven scrapbooks stood ready to be perused or pored over by old close friends of the family and casual visitors alike. as well as. presumably. the odd part»time cleaning woman”. Santiago faces many different settings and situations on his journey, which all help him further understand the Language of the World. He wouldn‘t have been able to go on his spiritual journey at one set place. For Franny and Zooey however, the one setting fits nicely.

Their house and living room is full of hostile family members and reminiscence of a past that isn’t real in the present. It suited the overall negative aura of the characters and also paved way for their spiritual realization. It was a challenge for them, but they finally understood, through the negative hardships that they faced. that the key to being spiritually at peace is giving everyone your best effort and love, even if you feel they don’t deserve it. Through dialogue. the different spiritual journeys in The Alchemist and Franny and Zooey are really exemplified. Santiago and Franny and Zooey had a mentor that told them what they needed to know to complete their spiritual journey. Franny and Zooey’s older brother Seymour was the teacher for them, and the alchemist himself taught Santiago about understanding the world.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when It goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity”. “Seymour’d told me to shine my shoes just as I was going out the door with Waker… He said to shine them for the Fat Lady. I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, but he had a very Seymour look on his face and so I did it”. The alchemist gave Santiago many lessons along with the one in the quote, all of which led him to understanding the Language of the World. He wouldn’t have been able to do it Without his direction.

Zooey recalling what Seymour told him years before brought him and Franny to the end of their spiritual journey, they finally understood what Seymour tried to get through to them. Givrng their best to everyone, even those they don’t like (the “Fat Ladies” of the world) and loving everyone around them. While the journeys in Paulo Coelho‘s The Alchemist and JD. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey were alike, their end results weren‘t as much. Both novels included the characters overcoming challenges and finding their spirituality, along with having a mentor as described with dialogue, which was similar. The difference, shown by the setting and characterization, was that the spirituality found for each character was different.

Santiago’s spirituality was being one with the world and understanding the Language of the World. Franny and Zooey‘s spirituality was simply taking the world for what it is, even when it’s bad, and loving it just the same. Also. there was a lot of initial negativity surrounding Franny and Zooey’s spirituality, while Santiago’s remained almost always positive. In the end, though, everyone completed their own Journey, and reached the spirituality they desired. The world isn’t getting any smaller by itself. It takes a single person to discover him/herself and his/her own spirituality. and then understanding the world or just understanding how to live in the world. If that can be accomplished, there‘s no challenge in life that a person can‘t take head-on.

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Spiritual Journeys in Novels. (2023, Apr 20). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/the-spiritual-journeys-in-the-novel-the-alchemist-by-paulo-coelho-and-the-book-franny-and-zooey-by-j-d-salinger/

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