Santiago and his Personal Legend Of all the lessons Santiago learned, which lessons were the most crucial to the pursuit of his Personal Legend?

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Susan Woodward eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would have to say that trusting one's intuition would have to be Santiago's greatest lesson.  He trusted that the life of a priest was not for him, and he become a shepherd.  This made him happy, even though his family was disappointed.  However, when he doubted his dream because it seemed impossible, he nearly missed out on a great treasure.  He learns to trust his intuition once more, but only after he suffers many trials.  He is convinced by a gypsy woman and a man who calls himself the King of Salem to follow what his dream indicates and travel to the Pyramids of Egypt.  He takes their advice only to run into obstacles at every turn.  He is robbed as soon as he reaches Africa, and he works for two years to save enough money to go back to Spain.  He trusts his intuition and he joins a caravan to Egypt.  He again runs into misfortunes, but he sees them through, even passing the final test of turning himself into the wind.  When he is once more robbed in Egypt, the leader of the gang tells the boy that he once had a dream about a great treasure under some tree in a church in Spain, but he figured that no one would be stupid enough to go across a continent chasing a dream.  Santiago recognizes the place by his description because it is the very place where he first had the dream about the Pyramids.  By trusting his intuition and following through, he returns to Sapin and claims his rightful treaasure.

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The Alchemist

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