The Alchemist: Setting and Themes Shift
In the novel, The Alchemist-Setting and Themes Shift are well-presented throughout the story. The events in the novel The Alchemist are situated in different settings. Although the novel is predominantly set in the African continent, the events take place in varied locations. Every shift in setting translates to a consequent shift in the theme being explored. Santiago starts off his journey in Andalusia following his desire to find his personal legend. Santiago was very comfortable in Andalusia since it was the place where he grew up (Coelho, 1993, p. 28). Due to his desire to chase his personal legend, he gives up all the joy attached to living with his beloved ones. This decision marks the start of the many obstacles that he encounters. This setting goes along with the theme of making sacrifices in order to find one’s dreams.Santiago experiences a reoccurring dream which drives him to Tarifa where he believes he will get an interpretation. “He had suddenly remembered that, in Tarifa, there was an old woman who interpreted dreams (Coelho, 1993, p. 11).” In Tarifa, Santiago meets the Gypsy woman and King Melchizedek who introduce him to personal legends. Tarifa influences all the other events that take place in the novel. It is highly connected with the themes of wisdom and hope and believing in dreams. In his journey, Santiago stops over at Al-Fayoum Oasis, a place where the Englishman is to achieve his personal legend. This place is a common ground for the two since Santiago meets Fatima, the alchemist, at the same spot who turns out to be his true love.
Santiago ends his journey at the Egyptian pyramids. This location represents the theme of ultimate happiness. The destination point is mentioned in the entire text, and fortunately, Santiago finds his treasure there. He did his final test at the Egyptian Pyramids; he was beaten and forced to give up on his dream. Initially, “they (the pyramids) seemed to laugh at him” (Coelho, 1993, p. 163). After passing the test, he realized where his treasure lied and would now go back to marry Fatima.