The Alchemist Essay

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Every individual in life will have an identity and personal legend whether they know it or not, but it is those who goes searching for their personal legend that will be able to discover their identity to the fullest. The meaning of a person’s personal legend is to uncover his purpose in life and pursue it, the journey will help him understand who and what he is, or his identity. Individuals who seek out their personal legend develop their identity by making decisions that are faced upon them. This is shown in The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho when Santiago travels to Africa where he is challenged with choices that will end up shaping his identity. In Paulo Coelho’s book, The Alchemist, the author develops the idea that an individual must actively pursue his personal legend in order to achieve his identity. Paulo Coelho illustrates this idea by having Santiago’s identity develop through his decision making, determination on his personal legend, and by having Santiago take control of his destiny instead of letting fate take control. In other words an individual’s true identity is only achieved by following his purpose in life. The difficult decisions Santiago has to make when he is searching for his personal legend helps readers understand his traits and beliefs. Decisions that an individual makes when seeking out his personal legend will change their identity and help them realize it more clearly. This is first shown in The Alchemist when Santiago chooses to go search for his personal legend in Egypt instead of staying in in Andalusia, the Spain countryside. Santiago’s reflects his true identity in this decision because he sees that Africa “[is not] a strange place” (p.41) instead “[is] a new one” (Coelho, 1993, p.41). Santiago starts to go after his purpose in life which is to travel and that decision shows two of his traits; he is adventurous and curious about the

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