The Alchemist Compare and Contrast Essay Santiago and the Crystal Merchant

Compare and Contrast Essay:
The Alchemist
Santiago & The Crystal Merchant

The Alchemist, by the infamous Brazilian author Paulo Coehlo is a novel that motivates every person to reach for their dreams, and pursue their personal legends. There aren’t many characters in the novel, however each of them teaches the reader valuable life lessons especially Santiago (the protagonist) and the crystal merchant (a secondary character) in a way that throughout their differences and similarities, the reader understands more about life and its different paths. In this essay we will compare and contrast the two characters.

Both characters are polar opposites concerning their Personal Legends. Santiago pursues his Personal Legend and is eager to fulfill it. He doesn’t let the obstacles in his way stop him from chasing his dreams. Paulo Coelho represents through Santiago the path that a person takes when they seek the pursuit of their personal calling, and shows the satisfaction and gains gained from this journey. On the other hand, the crystal merchant doesn’t seek the fulfillment of his Personal Legend. He lets his fears stand in his way. He represents the path a person takes when they decide to ignore their personal calling. Coelho represents through this secondary character the discontent and misery gained by that. Moreover, Santiago prioritizes material gains over religion and that was proven by the fact that he disregarded being a man of religion: a priest and sought to be a shepherd instead, and mostly due to the fact that his Personal Legend is a material gain, which is a treasure. In a way he chose material gains over religion. On the contrary, the crystal merchant disregards material gains and focuses on religion, that’s proven by the fact that even though his business is strong and he’s wealthy, he’s still unhappy because he hasn’t fulfilled all of his religious obligations, and moreover his Personal Legend is a religious goal: the pilgrimage to Mecca....