Free Study Guide for The Alchemist by Paul Coelho|
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BOOKNOTES SUMMARY THE ALCHEMIST BY PAUL COELHO
He is reminded when he opens his coat that he still has the two stones the
king had given him, and he decides he could sell them for enough money
to return home and buy more sheep. He also understands now what the bar
owner had been trying to tell him: not to trust the stranger. Like everyone
else, he had seen the world in terms of what he would like to happen,
not what actually does. However, the old manís advice also rolls around
in his head and he takes out Urim and Thummim again and questions them
like the old man had told him to do. When they fall though a hole in his
pocket, he is reminded to recognize and follow the omens. Now he knows
that the old man is still with him and that this isnít a strange place;
itís just a new one. And he isnít a poor victim of a thief, but an adventurer
in quest of his treasure.
He awakens the next morning in the marketplace where he had fallen asleep,
and even though he hasnít a cent in his pocket, he has faith. He helps
several merchants set up their stalls and realizes that like the king,
he is able to sense just by observing them whether they are near or far
from their Personal Legends, something he had never been able to do before.
Furthermore, he realizes that even though he is speaking Spanish and they
are speaking Arabic, they understand each other very well. Like his experience
with his sheep, they are speaking a language that doesnít depend on words.
With that ability, he can learn to understand the world. He resolves to
walk through Tangier and look for the omens, because, as the king had
said, all things are one.
A crystal merchant lives in Tangier and had sold his crystal in the same spot for thirty years. Once he had been more prosperous, but now with the growth of the city, his shop is in an out-of-the-way spot and his business has fallen off. He thinks that itís too late to change his business, because itís all he knows how to do. Then, just before lunchtime, a boy - Santiago - stops in his shop. The boy tells the merchant that heíll clean the glasses in the window in exchange for something to eat.
When the merchant hesitates, Santiago takes the initiative and cleans every glass in the window. This prompts two customers to enter and buy some crystal. The merchant is impressed by this good omen and takes the boy to lunch. Then, he asks Santiago if he would like to come to work for him, but the boy promises only to work for him the rest of that day into the next to earn money for Egypt. The merchant explains, however, that he could never pay him enough for the amount of work which would get him to Egypt. Santiagoís soul falls silent, but he agrees to work for the merchant to earn enough money to get him home again and buy more sheep.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on The Alchemist".
. 09 May 2017