How do certain people help Santiago on his journey in The Alchemist?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many characters who help Santiago during his journey in Coelho's The Alchemist. Some characters are people, some are natural elements, and some are abstract ideas and beliefs. Some of the people who help him are: Melchizedek, the King of Salem who starts him off on the journey; Fatima, the girl with whom he falls in love from the OasisĀ and who could have distracted him from continuing on during the middle of his journey; and, of course, the Alchemist, who assists him during the final part of his journey. The natural elements that also become characters who help Santiago are the Desert, the Wind, and the Sun who all help him during the climax of the story to discover the Soul of the World and how to travel like the wind. Had he not learned to travel like the wind, he and the Alchemist would have been killed by warlords. Finally, the abstract ideas and beliefs that help Santiago on his journey are the Omens that he learns to follow, Love, or the Soul of the World which makes life meaningful and the true way of communication between men and the universe, and the Languages of Life, the World and the Universe. The best advice that binds these three groups of helpers to Santiago is best given by the Alchemist when he says, "Don't give into your fears... If you do, you won't be able to hear your heart" (141). Without listening to his own heart (another type of character) Santiago would have been left without any communication to the other characters throughout the story.