Even though you may not primarily understand a few of the unusual terminology in the storyplot (Soul of the World, for example), its themes or templates are ones which are probably familiar to you. Can you think of some old, familiar proverbs or sounds that capture some of these ideas? For example, think about what eventually ends up being more important for Santiago-the trip. or the destination??? Where could it be that Santiago eventually locates happiness? People have been writing and performing about the answers to these questions for years!
The novel combines ideas and philosophies of several faiths and historical intervals. Several ideas concern the pursuit of truth, one's intended destiny and the attainment of personal pleasure. Coelho refers to these put together elements as one's "Personal Tale. " He says the storyline of Santiago to be able to teach us how we may find and live out our very own Personal Legends. These ideas, though, have been explored since old times in a single form or another by many faiths and individuals. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Christianity, Judaism, countless tribal cultures, in addition to early and modern philosophers, all try to define the idea of one's Personal Tale (though they could call it by different titles), and all subscribe pathways to obtaining personal fulfillment. Thus, although the legend is approximately no beliefs or philosophy in particular, it is approximately all faiths and philosophies.
Alchemy is the medieval "research" of changing rocks into yellow metal. Alchemy performs an important part in the story (literal level) of the storyplot, but it also becomes a symbol, or allegorical device, in the star (figurative level). Coelho is really using characters, occasions and symbols as tools showing us how to achieve spiritual alchemy. Quite simply, just how do we find or acknowledge the "gold, " -- our Personal Legend-- in the "rocks" of the day-to-day, ordinary, simple details of our lives? As Santiago discovers, sometimes the "gold" is not faraway, not glittery, not amazing, and not complicated, but it could require a quest of courage, trust and perseverance to find what it is and where it is hidden.
In an interview, Paulo Coelho talks about "Four Pillars of Alchemy- four important "tips" for finding one's Personal Star:
One must have confidence in "The Heart of the World. " The old Latin term for this concept is "anima mundi. " In short, this idea suggests that everything on the planet is interconnected; that is, what one does indeed affects everything else, from the tiniest grain of fine sand to the largest whale, and vice versa. Authors and thinkers such as Plato, Walt Whitman and Khalil Ghibran have attempted to illustrate this interconnectedness in their works.
One must listen to the voice of the center. Coelho suggests that sometimes we must follow our feelings and intuitions, even if we do not grasp them. Through sense one gains intelligence.
One must be faithful to one's dreams, for they both ensure that you reward us. Quite simply, the road to achieving one's Personal Legend may well not be an easy one, but we should endure the tests in order to gain the rewards.
One must "surrender oneself to the world. " Coelho shows that we should allow ourselves to be open to knowing and learning from omens and signs which come our way.
Questions for Book Study:
Why does Coelho start with the altered misconception of Narcissus? How exactly does the new version differ from the initial one? How can it change the myth's so this means? What might the author be suggesting about how precisely we understand ourselves and the planet?
The novel opens with Santiago thinking about his sheep. Exactly what does he notice about their life? How might the sheep symbolize the way many people live their lives? How can his observation that they "have forgotton to rely independently intuition" foreshadow later occasions in the story?
How does Santiago's father react when his kid instructs him that he would like to visit?(p. 9)
To what degree is his father's observation about travelers ("They come in search of new things, however when they leave they are simply basically the same people they were when they came. ") true about Santiago?
Why does the old bundle of money teller say that Santiago's aspiration is difficult to interpret?(p. 12-14). Why is Santiago suspicious of her?
The old man tells Santiago the storyline about the miner and the emerald on p. 24. So how exactly does it hook up to Santiago's situation? What does he imply when he says that "treasure is uncovered by the power of flowing normal water, and it is buried by the same currents"? What does this quote want to do with the miner/emerald history?
What point will the old man's story about the guy in the castle and the drops of oil (p. 30-32) make? How might this history apply to us in our modern lives?
How does the King assist Santiago in knowing omens? When does Santiago use this help?
How do Santiago's thoughts and perceptions about himself and the planet begin to improve on pp. 42-44? Describe three things that Santiago sees now that he previously never recognized before.
What lessons will Santiago learn by working at the crystal shop? Why do you consider Coelho decided crystal? How can the crystal merchant's reason for not taking the pilgrimage to Mecca (p. 55) showcase the difference between Santiago and the product owner? What effect will the merchant say Santiago has already established on him?
The Englishman and his goals are defined on pp. 65-70. What is he looking for? What does he show Santiago that he already is aware? On p. 78, he says that the progress made at the crystal shop is an exemplory case of the theory of the Heart and soul of the World. What does he mean? How does he determine this? How can he connect the idea to the partnership between the caravan and the desert?
The oasis is referred to in great information. So how exactly does its lushness, laughter and color reflect what Santiago detects there? Where else in the storyplot does Coelho provide information regarding the physical environment to be able to give more so this means to the situations which arise there?
Explain how Santiago's union with Fatima represents the Vocabulary of the World, matching to Santiago on p. 93. How come Fatima acknowledge that her new spouse wanders the desert, as she points out on p. 98?
What is the meaning of the two useless hawks and the falcon in the oasis? How can this omen change Santiago's position in population?
During his trek through the desert with the alchemist, Santiago is advised of several basic truths. The alchemist says, "There is only a good way to learn. It's through action. All you need to learn you have learned through your quest"(p. 125). What exactly are some of the items Santiago has discovered through action?
Why do you consider the alchemist says Santiago the storyline about the man's dream of the two sons (the poet and the soldier) on p. 156?
Why do Santiago have to go through the potential issues of the tribal wars on the outskirts of the oasis to be able to reach the Pyramids? At this time, the boy remembers the old proverb: "The darkest hour of the night time came right before the dawn. " How does this apply to his situation now? By the end of the journey, why does the alchemist leave Santiago by itself to complete it?
Earlier in the storyline, the alchemist advised Santiago "when you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, rarely are you thought. " By the end of the storyplot, how does this simple lesson change Santiago's life? How did it lead him back to the treasure he was looking for?
Topics for Research:
What is alchemy? What operations were engaged? Who performed it and why? Who had been the famous alchemists of the medieval period?
Who is Melchizedek? What role does he play in the Old Testament?
What will be the Five Pillars of Islam (p. 54). What's the Koran?
Explore the concept of Heart and soul of the World as different religions and philosophies define it.
Research the tribal means of the Bedouins of the Sahara (77).
Research one of the physical settings from the novel.
What will be the basic theories of Freud's or Jung's goal analysis theories? Catalog every one of the dreams that take place in the reserve, and try to interpret one matching to a theorist.
Research levanters, siroccos and other local weather features described in the publication.
Map out Santiago's quest. Include obstructions he encounters and lessons he learns in their geographically right locations. Provide a key which implies ideas, improvement, symbolism, etc. (I'll explain)
Read Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Lawn" and keep a reaction journal which connects his verse to Coelho's Heart and soul of the World idea.
Keep a wish journal for just one week. Try to interpret what you think they suggest by yourself, then research what they might mean corresponding to Freud or Jung, or regarding to an ancient culture (middle ages, Egyptian, Greek, African, etc. )
Create a boogie, pantomime, musical or other performance where you utilize "Unspoken Dialect" to convey the story of Santiago.
Create a painting, collage, photo-essay, shapescape (I will make clear) or sculpture which catches an idea, romantic relationship or moment in time from the storyplot. Provide a written description of your projects.
Produce a creative writing piece which captures a few of the central ideas of the booklet. Some ideas:
Journal: EVERY DAY in the Life of the Shepherd
Two or three tunes (with lyrics) from "The Alchemist: The Musical"
Rewrite some of the story from an alternative point of view: Fatima, the Alchemist, the Fortune Teller, the crystal product owner the sheep!
Write Santiago's "How-To Find Your Treasure" Handbook, or "Personal Legends for Dummies"
Scrapbook (with explanatory records) of Santiago's travels-feature pictures and goods that Santiago accumulates as he discovers about life
Letters between Fatima and Santiago
Unspoken Terms Journal-Tune into the various varieties of unspoken terminology we experience all around us every day. What gestures, facial expressions, intuitions and indicators do we give and receive to guide us in our responses, activities, reactions and associations? Observe interactions at school, at home, in nature, and in public areas, and record situations which illustrate that unspoken communication is sometimes as (if not more) powerful than the spoken term.
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