What are some of the more important lessons Santiago learns in Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist?

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tinicraw eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One of the first lessons that the boy learns comes after he is robbed in Tangier. As he looks at the people around him the next morning, he realizes the following:

He was learning a lot of new things. Some of them were things that he had already experienced, and weren't really new, but that he had never perceived before. . . He realized: If I can learn to understand this language without words, I can learn to understand the world. (43-44)

Most young people want to understand the world in which they live—the boy isn't much different. Consequently, not only does he want to understand the world, but he wants to carve out a life for himself by realizing his Personal Legend and finding his treasure. Therefore, after being robbed, he examines his choice: to go back to his old life or to continue forward with his journey. It is at this point that he realizes that he must get back up and try again whenever he is knocked down, if he is ever to succeed. As a result, Santiago pays closer...

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