To what degree is his father's observation about travelers true about Santiago in "The Alchemist"?

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Susan Woodward | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Santiago's father claims that any travelers that he has seen have all been more interested in the past than in the present.  They travel to a place and then begin to romanitcize about what it would be like to live there.  However, once they decide that travelling time is over, they return home the same people they were when they first arrived.  Santiago's father is of the opinion that only the rich can travel in that fashion.  Those in Santiago's family's position could only travel if they were shepherds.  This leads the boy to become a sheherd so that he could travel and see more of the world.  This attitude foreshadows the beginning of Santiago's travels, but the boy's experiences do not mirror his father's observations.  While Santiago DOES desire to stay in an area he has traveled to, it is not becasue he is infatuated with the history or culture; it is because he has made personal connections with people.  First, he stays with the crytal seller.  Later, he falls in love with, and eventually returns to, Fatima, a woman of the desert.

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