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In Paul Coelhos The Alchemist, Santiago embarks on a spiritually awakening journey of fate and freewill to complete his Personal Legend. He liberates himself from the sabotaging spells

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Predestined Fate In Paul Coelho's The Alchemist, Santiago embarks on a spiritually awakening journey of fate and freewill to complete his Personal Legend. He liberates himself from the sabotaging spells that blind his society, attempts feats few are capable of doing, and encounters The Alchemist. Santiago stumbles upon situations of interest and inspiration in his adventure that reveal a soundless battle between his will and his fate. The author successfully illustrates an interesting truth about Santiago's journey, it is predestined from the beginning; every experience and act of freewill is driven by his fate to accomplish his Personal Legend. Santiago's choices are controlled by fate; the ones he makes before he becomes a shepherd lead him towards his Personal Legend. Near the beginning, Santiago decides he wants to travel and explore the world, he summons up the "courage to tell his father that he didn't want to become a priest. That he wanted to travel..."(Coelho 8). Santiago has the urge to become a shepherd because, "amongst us, the only ones who travel are the shepherds"(Coelho 9). ...read more.


Each time Santiago's resolve is threatened, an omen mysteriously appears that strengthens his resolve. At one time, the author describes how Santiago is "in the empty marketplace, without a cent to his name...but the stones were proof he had met with a king"(Coelho 41). The omens occur in time to save Santiago and as Coelho insists, they are a result of the universe conspiring to help him fulfill his Personal Legend. The omens remind Santiago of his destiny, they help him rediscover himself, his resolution, and his strength. Remarkably, whenever Santiago has an inner revelation, a character is revealed and this character reasserts his fate and brings him closer to his Legend. Santiago realizes that, "If he had died tomorrow, it would be because God was not willing to change the future"(Coelho 108). Santiago finds self-understanding. He comprehends the idea of living each day in connection with the world because "to die the next day, is no worse than dying any other day because everything depends on one word: "Maktub"(Coelho 108). Santiago questions the crystal merchant what "Maktub" means and referring to fate, the merchant replies with, "It is written"(Coelho 59). ...read more.


Santiago's attempts at understanding the Soul of the World yield small fruit but his encounter with Fatima provides him with self-understanding. He sees the simplicity and beauty of the world and as his dream predicts, he is rewarded with treasure for his persistence. Once more, Santiago's fate brings him to unexpected treasures. Santiago's journey to find a hidden treasure is the consequence of will and ultimately, fate. Using Coelho's novel, fate can be likened to a highway, leading to one destination. Freewill and choices are lanes and branches in that highway, some leading out, but always detouring back to that same highway of fate. All lanes give control and options of how one reaches the destination and treasure. Ultimately, one hand and one master builder pave the highway of fate. Fate conquers freewill in this novel because freewill is an oxymoron. 'Will' does not permit ultimate freedom and it is bound by purpose, yet freedom describes unlimited choices and lack of restraint from purposes such as intent. Thus, fate is the commanding theme in this novel and Santiago's freewill, though potent, is unanimously dominated by it. Word Count: 797 Words ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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