Being able to understand that reading and writing are intertwined, and the practice of these skills leads to not only self-discovery but personal development is rewarding. Throughout this course, I read a lot of books and materials, which helped me learn a lot about myself and define the best writing strategies for myself. The book that left me speechless and influenced my style of writing is the book by Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist. It helped me not only to delve deeper into the essence of the central theme and critically analyze the path and challenges of a young boy but to choose the proper structure and adapt the writing to the audience.
In many respects, Paulo Coelho’s captivating work in the diverse mystical realism genre is stunning. The writing style is simple, yet it incorporates tremendous feelings, intriguing and complex characters, narrative twists, and enlightening knowledge. Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd kid, journeys from his village in Spain to the desert in Egypt in pursuit of a treasure deep beneath the Pyramids. The boy is a humble shepherd as well as an aspiring traveler. He genuinely chases his fantasies as well as signs from his surroundings.
The protagonist is wise beyond his age, but he is nevertheless a youngster who is easily influenced. Throughout the trip, he encounters a Gypsy woman, a person who claims to be King, and a person claiming to be an alchemist. Then there’s a true alchemist who does not boast in any way. Santiago is guided in his search by each of the characters. The Alchemist told the boy to “remember that wherever [his] heart is, there [he] will find [his] treasure” (Coelho, 2006, p.105). The boy never gave up, which inspired me, this little shepherd was stronger than any adult, and his image served as an inspiration.
While reading this book, I have tried multiple times to think ahead and make assumptions about whether the little boy will achieve his destination. However, even the characters did not know what the desired treasure was or if the little boy would be able to overcome the challenges throughout the route. He runs into dead ends, somebody takes his money, he places his confidence in the wrong people, and he is imprisoned in the wilderness. However, fantastic things happen all the time, and the story never stops moving forward. According to the old man in the book, “people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of” (Coelho, 2006, p.30). With the help of the quotes in the book, the character was guided and made stronger, and they also instilled hope in me.
With his deeds, the boy arguably alters his own fate. A little shepherd must match what he is told and what is true. Nonetheless, what begins as a quest for earthly riches becomes a revelation of the treasure hidden inside — the delicate boundary between the real and the divine. All through the novel, he goes from desperate to optimistic. The boy even meets Fatima in a big desert, and it turns out to be true love.
Santiago’s mission, along with the realism genre, left me as a reader with lingering questions. The questions I kept asking were whether Santiago genuinely summoned the storm that resulted in Santiago’s escape in the desert or if it was a lucky accident. I was also curious whether he genuinely felt Fatima’s kiss or if it was only a desire to honor his vow to come back. The narrative of the little shepherd is a true, and perhaps mystical, picture of the transformative power of our imaginations, the people in our lives, and the significance of responding to our emotions. It is rich, vivid, and full of beautiful phrases about being.
The Alchemist is a book that can influence anyone at any time. The book’s recurring theme is to chase one’s aspirations by embracing the heart’s wishes. Throughout the adventure, the little child learns to connect with his heart and to understand the language of signs. There is a lesson to be learned with each successive difficulty and challenge that the little child experiences. As a reader, I learned to let my inner child dream more. However, as a writer, I realized that the best way to connect with the reader is through communication; wise thoughts can let the reader analyze everything and the characters, which can remind the reader of themselves.
This work not only guided me in my beginnings and aspirations but also showed me that reading can be both exciting and enlightening. At the beginning of this semester, I was not an avid reader. However, after analyzing several books and participating in class discussions, I realized that there is much more to reading. As soon as I let the books take me through the adventures and wisdom of the time, I learned the lessons the authors intended for the readers to find. In every book, there is a meaning, and it is up to the reader to either explore it or miss it. The Alchemist showed me a different side of life, a side of choice to whether take action or give up on my dreams and aspirations.
In my essay about The Alchemist, I was inspired to talk about a person’s life being a twisting path filled with both exciting events and challenges. After examining the book by Coelho and his strategies, I created the narration of my own, with my identity and path shifting on the main character. Showing the difficulties of the main character, Ghazi, and his wish to find “the identity, true path, purpose, destiny, and life’s work,” I intended to infuse the whole writing with motivation. The boy “achieved his goal, became a college student,” which proved once again that nothing is impossible.
Through comparisons and allusions, I was able to feel the freedom to express my thoughts, and there were no constraints in describing the obstacles and difficulties of the main character. Sudden ideas came to Ghazi like “thunder in a clear sky,” and the boy himself reminded so much of the wise Alchemist. As a result, reading Coelho’s book helped me not only to engage in critical thinking but establish the proper sentence structure and adapt the material to the chosen audience.
After reading The Alchemist and exercising my knowledge, I intend to grow further in my writing skills. I believe that skills of critical analysis and proper structure of thoughts are of utmost importance in my major, which is management. As a future employee in this sphere, I will need to interact with the team, leading and motivating them. However, writing and reading skills will also play a huge role in my future classes since I will be able to express my thoughts clearly and perform the tasks accordingly.
Therefore, I believe that my growth will continue with my studies and my work. Nevertheless, to facilitate this process, I am planning to read at least 12 books a year and write an essay or a small story every month. This way, in a year, I will be able to incorporate more strategies into my writing and learn more cliches that are useful to make the writing more exciting.
When learning new skills or information, it is vital to be able to retrieve it and not forget this knowledge. In order to not be disappointed by mistakes, I will remember the secret of life, which is “to fall seven times and to get up eight times” (Coelho, 2006, p.9). With constant practice and feedback that I plan to receive from the circle of people I know and trust, I will hone my craft and correct any occurring mistakes while moving forward.
Hence, throughout this course, I learned to analyze information critically and properly structure my work, paying close attention to the recipients of the information. The most inspirational book I discovered in this course was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This captivating book was infused with quotes full of wisdom. Through the path of a little shepherd, analysis of his actions, challenges, and hopes, I realized that our fate is in our hands, and nothing is impossible if at least a little effort is made. This work helped me not only with self-discovery but discovery of practical strategies while writing. I believe I will continue to develop my skills by incorporating writing and reading into my daily life and practicing until I hone my craft to excellence.
Coelho, P. (2006). The Alchemist. United States: HarperOne.