The Alchemist Summary – Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist Summary - Paulo Coelho
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“The Alchemist” is a fantasy and inspirational novel written by famous Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. Since The Alchemist’s publication in 1988, the book has gained worldwide fame and has been highly praised by critics.

Summary of The Alchemist Book

In The Alchemist, the events are intricately woven together and presented in a fluid manner. Santiago is a young adventurer who acts according to his own desires and seeks to determine his destiny. Similarly, the Englishman, like Santiago, is an adventurer willing to sacrifice everything for his purpose.

While living in Spain, Santiago, despite having literacy skills, chooses to be a shepherd due to his burning curiosity to explore new places. One day, when he visits an abandoned church with his flock, a dream he has there marks the beginning of a new phase in his life. The dream reminds him of a moment in the past when he went to a merchant and met the merchant’s daughter. Recalling this memory, Santiago decides to visit the merchant again.

Upon reaching Tarifa, he encounters an old woman who is a dream interpreter, and her words astonish him. The woman predicts that Santiago will embark on a journey to the Egyptian pyramids to find a treasure and become rich. This event is a turning point in Santiago’s life. However, after this prophecy, when an old man says the same thing to Santiago, it further influences him. Santiago sells his six sheep and gives the money to the old man in exchange for two stones named Urim and Thummim.

Now, Santiago’s goal is set: to go to the Egyptian pyramids and obtain the treasure there. However, this journey will not be easy. Santiago, making a deal with a guide, crosses from Tarifa to Africa, but the challenges of their journey to the pyramids begin. Losing his money, Santiago tries to find a job to earn money. He finds a job related to crystal sales, and since then, the business of the crystal shop has flourished.

After a year, having saved enough money to go to the Egyptian pyramids, Santiago makes a deal with a caravan. On the way, they notice people from various countries with the same purpose.

Santiago’s adventure continues to Al-Fayoum. However, due to tribal wars, they cannot progress. Welcomed and hosted by a tribal chief in Al-Fayoum, Santiago meets an Englishman. This Englishman has set out to find an alchemist in Egypt but has been disappointed. They are directed to an old man to get information about the alchemist, and the old man tells them that the alchemist lives in the oasis and is a powerful figure. However, they are advised to wait for the end of the war.

To find the alchemist living in the oasis, Santiago sets out on a journey. During this journey, he falls in love with a girl named Fatima, who carries a flask on her shoulder with a black veil. Santiago tells Fatima that he will wait for her every day before leaving and proposes marriage. Santiago’s dream has now turned into an adventure chasing a treasure.

One morning, during the outbreak of war in Al-Fayoum, a raid is carried out. Santiago decides to walk south, and in the oasis, he finds the alchemist. The alchemist assures Santiago that he will guide him to reach the treasure. Before leaving, Santiago bids farewell to Fatima, promising to return.

Eventually, they reach a monastery where Santiago witnesses the alchemist turning lead into gold. Santiago continues the journey with a piece of gold obtained from the alchemist. The treasure is only half an hour away. However, when they reach the top of a dune, Santiago finds himself in tears. Despite digging all night, he cannot reach the treasure.

At this moment, a group of men claiming to be war refugees arrives. They understand what Santiago is looking for and start digging at the same spot. However, the result remains the same, and they torture Santiago, taking the gold he has. As the leader of the refugees leaves, he tells Santiago that he had a dream where he saw a sycamore growing where the shepherds in Spain slept with their sheep during a ritual, and underneath it, there was a treasure.

Santiago’s heart fills with joy because he has found the location of the treasure. He goes back to the same church, this time with only his shovel. He begins to dig and uncovers a treasure chest filled with old Spanish gold coins. Santiago’s only wish now is to return to Fatima after finding the treasure.

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