In Coelho's The Alchemist, what happens when the alchemist and the boy are both taken into the military camp?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When the alchemist and the boy are both taken to the military camp, the alchemist uses all of Santiago's money that he has saved for years to buy them three days time to save their lives. The alchemist tells the chief of the tribe that the boy is an alchemist who could destroy their whole camp by one swift command of the wind. The chief calls his bluff by saying that he wants to see the boy do that. The alchemist says that he needs three days, but he won't destroy the camp; he will only turn himself into the wind to demonstrate his powers. Santiago can't believe what the alchemist just put him up to prove. He doesn't know how to turn himself into the wind! 

Over the course of the three-day grace period, Santiago talks to the desert, the wind, and the sun. They all can't help him. He discovers that he needs to talk to the Soul of the World in order to pull off this trick. As a result, he learns that he is a part of the Soul of the World and that same soul is a part of God. In addition to the Soul of the World being God's soul, he also realizes that God is love. If everything is connected in the world, and God, love and the Soul of the World are all one, then he is also part of God. If he is part of God, then he also has the power to turn himself into the wind. Needless to say, Santiago discovers the power within himself to save his and the alchemist's life by turning himself into the wind in front of the military tribe. They are so impressed by the boy's power that they allow the two travelers to go on their way towards the pyramids.