The Alchemist Questions and Answers
by Paulo Coelho

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How does Santiago's observation that "they have forgotten to rely on their own instincts" foreshadow later events in Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist?

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Perhaps the most obvious incident foreshadowed by Santiago's comment that people have "forgotten to rely on their own instincts," in Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist can be seen at the story's end when Santiago is beset by thieves as he travels to the pyramids.

As Santiago travels across the desert, he comes to a sand dune, and there the omens tell him to dig. He digs on and on until his hands are scratched and he is exhausted. Suddenly, he hears footsteps behind him. The men tell Santiago that they have been displaced by the tribal wars. They are poor—thieves searching for money. Santiago is digging and they suspiciously want to know what he is looking for. Santiago is certain he has found his treasure (at last) and doesn't want to tell the men what he is doing. of them seized the boy and yanked him back out of the hole. Another, who was searching the boy's bags, found the piece of gold.

"There's gold in here," he said.

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