The Alchemist Questions and Answers
by Paulo Coelho

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Referring to Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, is it possible to live a fulfilling life without ever achieving your Personal Legend?

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The story makes it clear that one cannot attain complete fulfillment without pursuing one's Personal Legend. While those who don't are not necessarily miserable wrecks, they do have a sense of regret which taints their overall contentment about the way their lives have unfolded. For example, the Baker always wanted to go to Mecca, but the trip is expensive, so he kept putting it off to get more money as a baker. He eventually grew used to this comfortable way of living and has still yet to visit Mecca.

Coelho is warning the reader against the temptation of contentment. There is nothing wrong with satisfaction, but the truth is that these people are not wholly satisfied. They have longings which go beyond mere material wealth or romantic desire, and they should take the worthwhile risk in pursuing their dreams. Judging by how Santiago leaves Fatima and claims he will return to marry her later, one might assume Coelho puts things the opposite of the Baker: follow your dreams now, then put...

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