What is allegorical about the girl Santiago meets in Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Fatima is the name of the girl with whom Santiago falls in love in Coelho's The Alchemist. She represents romantic love, future family, and settling down. She is also another of the many teachers who teaches the young shepherd boy about the Soul of the World and everyone's connection to their Personal Legend. Fatima understands that love can wait and if Fate has it planned that Fatima and Santiago are meant to be, then they will circle back around in life and get married. Basically, Coelho is saying that people should discover themselves and their personal legends before they settle down and stay in one place for the rest of their lives. Fatima understands that the Soul of the World connects everyone to the universe; and if their connection is real, then they will find themselves together again after he finds his treasure and accomplishes his life's goals. Fatima explains it perfectly with the following:

"I'm a desert woman, and I'm proud of that. I want my husband to wander as free as the wind that shapes the dunes. And, if I have to, I will accept the fact that he has become a part of the clouds, and the animals, and the water of the desert"(98).