What is a "personal legend" ?  

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rugator | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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A personal legend, as it's referred to in The Alchemist, is one's destiny in life. It's identifying our purpose in life and pursuing it. In the story, the main character, Santiago, goes in search of his personal legend. Along the way, he encounters many other characters who help him either directly or indirectly accomplish his goals. The story is an allegory for those wishing to live an examined life. It's a story which requires the reader to make certain conections between Santiago's experiences and their own lives. A personal legend requires one to be open to interpreting "omens" and acting on them in a way which furthers their pursuit of their dreams/goals.

One of the critical aspects of the story comes through Santiago's slow realization that what one needs to fulfill their personal legends is often times already possessed. Their is no "real" need to acquire any special skills or talents. Rather, one needs to be willing to adapt their abilities to the various excursions that life takes us on.

Santiago, in the end, discovers these realities in addition to realizing that his experiences were all part of his quest to find discover his personal legend. In other words, the discovery comes as part of the quest; it's result comes from the journey and not the destination.

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