In Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, how does the Englishman's search for the alchemist compare to Santiago's search for his treasure?  

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Although they are very different people with two very different backgrounds, Santiago and the Englishman are both in pursuit of a better understanding of The Language of the World. In other words, they are both on the path towards their Personal Legends.

Despite these similar pursuits, the two of them approach it very differently. The Englishman uses books and academia to discover his truths about the Language of the World. He places a great deal of importance on what others have studied and gleaned before him. He hopes to use what they have written down to forward his own endeavors. Perhaps he will even add to this canon of knowledge himself when all is said and done. Santiago, on the other hand, has no academic or scholarly background. All that he understands comes from his own experience and observations. The Englishman looks for meaning in the words that he reads while Santiago looks for meanings in the omens that occur in the world around him.

In many ways, Santiago and the...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 935 words.)

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Last Reviewed by eNotes Editorial on December 20, 2019
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