Personal Legend in The Alchemist

In The Alchemist, there is a consistent theme of the idea of a “personal legend,” This idea is heavily emphasized in a conversation between the protagonist, Santiago, and Melchizedek, the king of Salem. The king states that the personal legend is not just a journey or a task assigned to someone, but the meaning of your life. The personal legend is one’s “mission on Earth”. A dream is not a figment that comes into your mind without any kind of deeper meaning, and should not be ignored Dreams are a connection to the Soul of the Universe because that’s where they come from.

The assertion that if you desire something, it becomes your own mission is an idea that i agree with completely. Examples of how this ideology is valid can be identified in the text and through my own personal experiences Within the text, the protagonist, Santiago proves this assertion to be completely accurate.

He believes his personal legend is to be rich and mary a merchant’s beautiful daughtert While this is his main priority in the beginning of the novel, he has other Visions as well.

One of them is of the pyramids in Egypt. The pyramids appear as a recurring dream he has He doesn’t know what the dream means, only that it must have a deeper meaning. With the help of the king of Salem, he is able to interpret the dream, and travel to Egypt to fulfill his personal legend. In the middle of doing so, he loses hope after he is robbed and becomes a crystal merchant.

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Even when Santiago stops trying to pursue his personal legend, he doesn’t realize that all the actions he made at the crystal shop were a part of completing the legend itself. Although he is able to perform his duties well and even generates more business, he realizes that he must endure and complete his personal legendt When he leaves the crystal merchant’s shop, he joins a desert caravan.

There, an Englishman introduces him to the concept of alchemy. His love of knowledge inspires him to search even harder for treasure. However, this all changes when he meets Fatima, a woman of the desert with whom Santiago falls madly in love with. He decides that she is the treasure he has been searching for and proposes to her, but she declines to do so. She believes that his real treasure is still out there, and if she is really important to him, he will come back for her. All the events and actions he made helped him to get his treasure because “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” (Coelho 22.) The crystal merchant is another example of how a personal legend is truly one’s mission on Earth. However, instead of being an example of how he achieves his personal legend and how it benefits him, his situation is quite the opposite.

The crystal merchant runs a small shop in Tangier. He takes extreme pride in his shop. He has spent most of his life saving and spending money and collecting crystal to ultimately sell. It is perfect, in his eyes. The merchant has a secret, however. He has had recurring dreams about the hajj, a journey to Mecca that every Muslim must complete at least once in their lifetime. The merchant is afraid to perform this task. As later revealed when Santiago attempts to expand the shop by selling tea to customers, the merchant does not like change. He wants to keep everything exactly how it originally was. This is the very reason as to why he will not follow the dream he has been having. He is afraid that once he “realizes his dream is real, he’ll have nothing else to live for.”

Because of this, he simply dreams about it. Along with Santiago, the crystal merchant himself is displeased with his life choice, but is too crippled by his own fear. Because of this, his life will be a disappointment. The reason Santiago isn’t afraid of his personal legend is because he knows that good will come from it, and will assist him in the rest of his life. The merchant‘s life decision not to endure his personal legend has left him empty. If you don‘t fulfill your desires, you will suffer for the rest of your life knowing what you didn’t achieve. This is why I agree with the concept that desire is one‘s mission on Earth.

The idea that a personal legend is something that one is born to do is a philosophy thatI follow for my own betterment. For well over a decade, I have had recurring dreams of myself, on stage, This seemed rather unclear to me as a 4 year old because I had not had any experiences being on a stage, at all. It wasn’t until I was 5 that this dream evolved. Soon I was notjust on stage, but also in front of people playing an instrument, I did not know what instrument I was playing or where I was, just that I was performing, playing music, and making others feel good. Not long after that, [began playing piano, guitar, drums and singing. I followed this calling up until I was 8.

I had become too busy with schoolwork and others external issues to focus on anything else in my life, It seemed as if that was it for music. However, one of those problems was me having to leave private school. The school I transferred to was full of kids my age who had no interest in learning, and yelled and screamed during class. The kids were quite cruel as well, I would get picked on for being the “nerd” that “cared about schoolwork” and was in math club. There was no outlet for the angst] felt. Until one day, when a shipment of acoustic guitars were sent by an anonymous donor. In music class, our teacher each handed us each one and told us to practice the strumming patterns on the sheet he’d passed out at the beginning of class. Music was now a part of my life again. This was the moment when I knew that music is something I truly desire. Because of my decision to continue with it, playing music has resulted in positive outcomes for my life. Listening to the particular genres of music that I enjoy has allowed me to make new friends and start a band.

Knowing how to play many different instruments has allowed me to perform at regional establishments. I’ve been able to explore America and earn money playing at different venues. This incident and my recurring dream is all the evidence I need to believe that when you want something enough, it becomes your mission to complete it If this is not my personal legend, then 1 am doing an excellent job at wasting my time. Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist incorporates the idea of desire being one’s mission on Earth, as represented through the idea of a personal legend. 1 choose to view it as something that everyone is born to fulfill Santiago’s dream of going to the pyramids to find his treasure resulted in him finding his treasure, and developing new relationships and new skills (being able to communicate with the soul of the universe).

The same goes for me, as l have developed new relationships and skills which all started off as a dream when I was young. The importance of a personal legend is also harshly confirmed when viewing the humdrum and disappointing life of the crystal merchant. Because he didn’t follow his dream, he is doomed to live out the rest of his life in his crystal shop. In addition to believing that a personal legend is one’s mission on Earth, I encourage everyone to determine their own personal desires and fulfill them at all costs. When you want something badly enough, you‘ll be aided in ways you will never know.

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Personal Legend in The Alchemist. (2023, Apr 20). Retrieved from

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