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

Expert Answers
tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Santiago and his father have a relatively short conversation about the fact that the boy would rather travel than go to a seminary to become a priest. The father's position is that many tourists come to visit in order to visit different places of the world, "but when they leave they are basically the same they were when they arrived" (9). What he means is that traveling does not change a person for the better. In fact, his father says that people become disillusioned about the past and take their current life for granted because of traveling. The boy says he wants to see where the tourists come from, but his father argues that their home is the best because most of the tourists mention that they wish they could stay there forever. Nevertheless, Santiago said he still desired to travel. At this point, the father drops the conversation and suggests that since they come from a poor country, he should be a shepherd and travel that way. His father is even nice enough to give the boy his inheritance right then in the form of three gold coins. This interaction between father and son is nice because both views are discussed and heard, but eventually the father supports his son's dreams.

Read the study guide:
The Alchemist

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question