Making The Best Of A Situation

1132 words - 5 pages

In “The Alchemist”, by Paulo Coelho, there is a recurring theme of making the better of what one is given. In the beginning, Santiago, a young shepherd boy, learns how to guide his sheep to safety and water. For Santiago, it is his everyday life. He is accustom to the fields and pastures in which he feeds his sheep everyday. He is able to continue to entertain himself and the needs of the sheep, despite the narrow circumstances he is given. At night, Santiago uses a book as a pillow to sleep on, rather than a sheep. Later in the book, Santiago continues to use his ability to find value in seemingly plain things. This is also when he meets an alchemist, a man who can turn lead into gold. To ...view middle of the document...

“But when he thought to complain about the burden of its weight, he remembered that, because he had the jacket, he had withstood the cold of dawn.” (Coelho #8) And, as long as Santiago continues to carry his jacket along with him while he guides his sheep, he will continue to be able to protect himself from the cold. This shows how Santiago is able to make the best of what he is given. However, things change drastically for Santiago, but he is still able to make the best of his things, even later in the book.
Later in the book, Santiago crosses the desert in search of a treasure. He is stopped at an oasis, which is a place of safekeeping to the pilgrimage, and it keeps him safe from the danger of tribal wars out in the desert. His journey across the desert is stalled by the threat of tribal wars, but Santiago makes the best of it. He is quickly able to connect with interesting people, including an Englishman, an alchemist, and he even falls in love with a girl, named Fatima. He is able to take very valuable lessons from these people, even though it is a detour to what he thinks is his personal legend, or true treasure. What Santiago does not realize is that the true treasure is in the minds of others, in the form of stories or experience. Since Santiago is able to confront these people with such generosity and curiosity, he is able to take with him valuable treasure that is worth much more than any form of physical treasure. This may also explain Santiago’s natural ability to build friendships, acquaintances, and love wherever he goes, because he confronts situations with a positive attitude, and is interested in other’s hearts and experience. What he takes back from these people is he learns to be patient, observant, and cultured. However, someone who he learns the most from is the alchemist.
After Santiago leaves the oasis, he is still in search of his treasure, or personal legend. He takes with him a companion, called the alchemist. The alchemist is a morally righteous and intelligent person, with an ability like Santiago’s. When Santiago first met the alchemist, Santiago saw that he was...

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