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I am trying to compare Empire of the Sun to The Alchemist. What would be Jim's personal...

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Dlarge | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 14, 2013 at 6:21 PM via web

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I am trying to compare Empire of the Sun to The Alchemist. What would be Jim's personal legend?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 16, 2013 at 10:25 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that Jim's Personal Legend would be survival.  The Personal Legend is what one is meant to do: “...There is a force that wants you to realize your Personal Legend…[but] in order to find the treasure you will have to follow the omens.”  For Jim, his would have to be survival through his ordeal.  From a life of comfort and privilege, he is hurled into a world where suffering, imprisonment, and death are realities.  He does not quit or capitulate to these. Rather, part of his change and transformation is his desire to live when so many others failed to do so.  

It is here in which Jim's  Personal Legend would be survival.  The same revelations in Santiago's character that accompanies his quest towards his Personal Legend are evident in Jim's recognizing his.  He must mature and understand what his true identity is in order to accomplish the goal of recognizing his "Personal Legend," which is survival.  This becomes the truth of his being, the driving sensibility that compels him to move on even when every fiber of his physical being is suggesting that he cannot do so.  The quest for survival is Jim's "Personal Legend."


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