In "The Alchemist," how does Santiago’s father react when his son tells him that he wants to travel?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Overall, I would say that Santiago's father acted calmly.  He didn't get angry or abusive.  He didn't start yelling at his son.  He didn't get insulting, nor did he "put his foot down" and mandate that Santiago stay at home and become a priest.  

Santiago's father calmly entered into the conversation by pointing out that when people visit their part of the world, they say it is beautiful and don't want to leave.  He asks Santiago why he would want to leave a place that is so desirable.  

"Those people, when they see our land, say that they would like to live here forever," his father continued.

Santiago is undeterred and responds by saying that he still wants to go.  The father calmly points out that it will take a lot of money, which Santiago doesn't have.   

"The people who come here have a lot of money to spend, so they can afford to travel," his father said.

Santiago is still determined to travel.  The next day, despite not wanting his son to leave, the father gave Santiago a pouch of coins to help him travel. He also gave Santiago his blessing. 


Susan Woodward eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Santiago's family wanted him to be a priest, and so they went him to seminary school.  The boy, however, longed to see the world, and so he decided to become a shepherd so that he could travel.  Although his father would have preferred that his son become a priest, he did give him three gold coins so that he could purchase his first flock and go out on his way.  He chose not to quench his son's choices by making him stay in the seminary, and he let the boy do as his his dictated.  This gave Santiago the strength to trust his intuition throughout the rest of the parable.

rpdonahue93 | Student

Although Santiago's father wanted a different path for him, he's supportive towards his son.  He gives Santiago money to buy sheep and respects his decision to pursue his dreams. 

rukiakuchki | Student

Santiago's father said nothing, but the next day, he gave Santiago a pouch with three gold ancient Spanish coins to buy his flock.

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The Alchemist

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