What did Santiago learn at the end of the book El ALQUIMISTA by Paulo Coelho?

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On the last page of the book, and before the Epilogue, Coelho writes that Santiago's heart burst with joy "because now he knew where his treasure was" (163). Outside of the deep, personal lessons that Santiago learns on his journey to finding his treasure, the question is always persistent as to whether or not he will actually find a real treasure of gold and jewels in the end; happily, he does. He discovers that his treasure was buried in the old, abandoned church where the story began where he and his sheep slept for the night. It was also there that Santiago had his dream about finding the treasure at the Pyramids in Egypt. Without the 2-3 year journey through the desert, though, he wouldn't have discovered how to listen to his heart, to the earth, to the wind, and all of the other elements associated with the Language of the World. Without these and many other experiences, he never would have learned about love, alchemy, or himself, either.


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