How does Santaigo contribute to the success of the crystal shop?

caitlinjoseph10 | Student

Part One - Section Four

The day after Santiago is robbed by the young Spanish man from the bar, Santiago offers to clean glasses in the crystal merchant's shop in exchange for food and shelter.  The crystal shop merchant does not respond, but Santiago cleans the glasses anyways.  Although the crystal shop has not attracked many customers recently, two people enter the shop and purchase some crystal.  They enter the shop the same day Santiago begins cleaning the crystal.

Later, the shopkeeper takes Santiago to a cafe' for some food.  He tells Santiago that he didn't need to clean the glass because it is ordained by the Koran that the shopkeeper feed him.  The crystal merchant continues by saying that it was a good omen that customers entered and made purchases while Santiago cleaned; the shopkeeper ofers him a job.  Santiago replies that he will clean all the shopkeeper's glass in exchange for money to get to Egypt.  The shopkeeper laughs and says that the trip to Egypt is far too long, and that Santiago could work for a year or more and still not earn enough money to get there.  Santiago is saddened and disappointed by this news, but takes the job anyway. 

He also gives him ideas about how to expand his business, and earn more money in part two.  Some of those ideas are:

*To build a display case outside of the shop to attract more customers.

*To sell tea in some crystal glasses.

*Hiring more employees after the increase in business.

Both of these things push the tedious and grouchy shopkeeper out of his comfort zone.  They help him to learn more about himself and to see that life can offer more if you make positive changes.  By expanding his business, he is on the path to accomplishing his personal legend - the trip to the Mecca.

Read the study guide:
The Alchemist

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